By Orville Williams
None of the nearly one dozen Fabuloso cleaning products that were recalled nearly two weeks ago have been found on the consumer market in Antigua and Barbuda.
That confirmation came yesterday from the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division after it conducted an investigation into the potential local impact of the recall.
In a joint statement early this month, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Fabuloso’s parent company, Colgate-Palmolive, said it was recalling nearly five million bottles of the multipurpose cleaning products, due to the risk of exposure to bacteria.
According to the statement, the recalled products may contain Pseudomonas species bacteria, which pose a risk of serious infection for people with weakened immune systems, external medical devices or underlying lung conditions.
The recalled products include Fabuloso’s Lavender Scent, Refreshing Lemon Scent, Passion of Fruits Scent, Spring Fresh Scent, and Ocean Scent in a variety of sizes, from the 22-ounce to the one-gallon bottles.
The Division told Observer then that an investigation was launched into the recall, alongside the Central Board of Health (CBH), and Director Orin Steele shared the update with our newsroom.
“[By] all indications, [including] our investigations as well, we have not seen or found any on the market. The large quantity that’s on the market currently, they come from the wholesaler here, who is Anjo – their products did not originate in the US, they actually came from Mexico, so those are not affected by the current recall.
“We know there are some consumers, as well as some other businesses, who will purchase for themselves from the US. However, even checking with them, we did not find that they had any of the products,” Steele explained.
He added that, “when we looked at some deeper information as well, these [recalled] products would have been made just about maybe two months ago, so none of these really came on the market based on all indications.
“So, we’re happy to hear that, and [happy that] no one would have been seriously injured or affected by this recall.”
With the overwhelming majority of household products used in Antigua and Barbuda imported from territories like North America, the country is often faced with the risks associated with contaminated or defective products.
The authorities, therefore, require the unyielding support of those who import these types of products to keep consumers safe.
Steele expressed gratitude to the businesses that continue to work alongside the Division to address these issues when they pop up, referring to that relationship as vital in keeping consumers and the wider public safe from harm.
“I want to thank the retailers, as well as the wholesalers who have been very compliant and cooperative with us. I know, generally for recalls, they are always willing to supply the information to us.
“We just want to keep working along with them, keep the relationship harmonious and [ensure that] going forward with anything – it doesn’t even have to be a recall, it can just be a potential risk in something – they take action against it,” he said.
Persons who may have purchased the recalled products are urged to verify the lot number at fabuloso.com/recall to determine whether what they have is part of the affected batch.
And those with the affected products are advised to discontinue use and return them to the place of purchase for a refund.
Persons can also contact the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division at 462-4347, or at [email protected] for additional information or assistance.