It’s a drinks manufacturer’s worst nightmare: Victoria’s Apollo Bay Distillery recently sold nine bottles of hand sanitiser accidentally labelled as gin, sparking an urgent product recall.
Many alcohol brands have been producing hand sanitiser during the COVID-19 outbreak due to a shortage of the product.
The Apollo Bay Distillery bottles contained 1.45% glycerol, 0.125 per cent hydrogen peroxide, which are commonly used in cleaning agents and hand sanitiser.
“Products containing glycerol and hydrogen peroxide may cause illness/injury if consumed,” the notice said. “Purchasers have been warned to not drink the gin as consumption could lead to serious side effects including nausea, headaches, dizziness, bloating, vomiting, thirst and diarrhoea.”
Fortunately, all bottles were recovered within a few days of the mistake occurring and without serious health issues resulting.
“We are very sorry this occurred,” the distiller noted. “Rest assured we will be following up our procedures to ensure this does not occur again.”
The incident is a reminder to ensure your company is prepared for a recall.
“It’s only a few months ago that few people might have associated production of gin with hand sanitiser,” said Andrew Brown, Business Development Manager Recall, GS1 Australia.
“As a rule, Australian food and beverage businesses follow well defined quality processes to reduce the risk of unsafe product entering the marketplace. The recent example of hand sanitiser being sold in gin bottles demonstrates that by and large, product recalls occur when something happens that might not have been considered in the risk management process. A well-defined recall process with standardised communication that is regularly practiced will help companies ensure they are in a far better position to mitigate risk in terms of consumer safety, brand integrity and financial loss.”
GS1 offers Recall, a secure online platform endorsed by major Australian retailers and associations. The use of the Recall platform significantly streamlines and improves processes and communications in the event of a product recall or withdrawal, enabling fast and effective removal of products from across the supply chain.
Here’s a video by GS1 on how to make sure you’re prepared:
To find out more about GS1’s Recall platform, click here.
GS1 is a Corporate Partner of the Drinks Association.