The company behind a popular line of laundry detergents and cleaning products has issued a voluntary recall due to possible bacterial contamination.
The laundress first issued a safety notice on November 17, urging customers to stop using her products altogether.
“We have identified the potential presence of elevated levels of bacteria in some of our products that present a safety issue,” the company wrote in part, before adding that it would provide an update at a later date.
On Thursday, the company extended the safety notice to a recall.
“The recalled products may contain bacteria, including Burkholderia cepacia complex, Klebsiella aerogenes and several different species of Pseudomonas, many of which are environmental organisms widely distributed in soil and water, and some can also be found in man,” the company said in its statement. recall notice.
“People with compromised immune systems, external medical devices, and underlying lung conditions who are exposed to the bacteria are at risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment,” the company continued. “The bacteria can enter the body if it is inhaled, or through the eyes or through a tear in the skin. People with healthy immune systems are usually not affected by the bacteria.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bacteria in the Burkholderia cepacia complex, also known as B. cepacia, “are often resistant to common antibiotics,” although they pose little medical risk to healthy people. However, the CDC notes that “individuals who have certain health conditions such as weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases, especially cystic fibrosis, may be more susceptible to B. cepacia infections,” a “known cause of infections in hospitalized patients”.
Symptoms of B. cepacia infection vary, according to the CDC, with some people having no symptoms and others having “severe respiratory infections.” The bacteria can spread through person-to-person contact, contact with contaminated surfaces, or environmental exposure.
Klebsiella, according to the CDC, is another type of “gram-negative bacteria that can cause different types of healthcare-associated infections, including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis. “.
“…Klebsiella infections occur frequently in sick patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions,” the agency states on its website. “Patients whose care requires devices such as ventilators (breathing machines) or intravenous (venous) catheters, and patients who take long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk of Klebsiella infections. good health usually do not get Klebsiella infections.”
The CDC notes that Klebsiella bacteria are also often resistant to antibiotics.
Klebsiella spreads through person-to-person contact, “or, less commonly, through environmental contamination,” according to the CDC, The bacteria do not spread through the air.
Pseudomonas, the CDC states, is also found in soil and water and can also cause infections in the blood and lungs, or other parts of the body. The bacteria can be transmitted by person-to-person contact or through the environment. Those most at risk are hospitalized patients, especially those using breathing machines (ventilators), with devices such as catheters, or with surgical wounds or burns.
So far, The Laundress says the company is aware of 11 reported cases of Pseudomonas infections and is investigating whether the infections are linked to their products.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 8 million Laundress products are affected by the recall, including those manufactured in the United States between January 2021 and September 2022. Affected products were sold online and in stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Target, The Container Store and other major retailers.
Customers who purchased The Laundress products can submit their information to request a refund. They may also contact the company for additional information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 681-1915 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
On social media and on its website, The Laundress directs customers to visit a dedicated website – thelaundressrecall.com – for a full list of affected products, answers to frequently asked questions and instructions on how to request a refund.
The company is also asking consumers with recalled products to dispose of them immediately. “After requesting a refund, consumers should dispose of the product by tightly closing the bottle and placing it in household trash. Do not empty the product before disposal,” the company said on the recall website.
Unilever has owned The Laundress since the conglomerate acquired the brand in 2019. The Laundress was launched in 2004 by Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd.
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