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Safety alert: Canada-wide recall of laundry detergent, household cleaners for 'risk of exposure to bacteria'

The company is at the centre of a lawsuit involving over 100 people who allege the fabric soap and cleaners caused them serious harm.

Health Canada is notifying consumers that batches of laundry detergent, fabric conditioner, and household cleaners are being recalled from the marketplace due to a risk of exposure to bacteria.

A safety notification issued Thursday (Dec. 1) states that the recall involves The Laundress brand laundry detergent, fabric conditioner, and household cleaning products.

The recalled products can contain bacteria, "including Burkholderia cepacia complex, Klebsiella aerogenes, and multiple different species of Pseudomonas, many of which are environmental organisms found widely in soil and water, and some may also be found in humans," according to Health Canada.

When they are exposed to the bacteria, people with weakened immune systems, external medical devices, and underlying lung conditions face a risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment. The bacteria can enter the body if inhaled, through the eyes, or through a break in the skin.

People with healthy immune systems are typically not affected by the bacteria, however.

As of Nov. 30, the company is aware of "11 consumers who have reported Pseudomonas infections and is investigating these reports to see if there is any connection to the recalled products."

The company sold roughly 227,000 units of the affected product in Canada between January 2021 and September 2022. 

South of the border, the company sold around 8 million of the affected products and is at the centre of a lawsuit involving over 100 people who allege the fabric soap and cleaners caused them serious harm, according to Rolling Stone.

How to identify products in the Canada-wide recall

The recalled products were sold individually, in kits, or as part of a bundle. However, you can identify the recalled products with the following lot codes:

  • lot codes beginning with a prefix letter F and the last four digits numbered less than 9354,
  • lot codes beginning with a prefix letter H and the last four digits numbered less than 2262, and
  • lot codes beginning with a prefix letter T and the last four digits numbered less than 5264.

The lot codes can be found on the bottom or side of the bottle. 

What you should do

You should stop using the recalled product immediately and contact The Laundress directly for reimbursement. After requesting a refund, dispose of the product by closing the bottle tightly and placing it in the household trash. You should not empty the product prior to disposal. 

For more information on how to get a refund or for a complete list of recalled products, visit The Laundress Recall page online.  

For any further questions, call The Laundress at 1-800-681-1915, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, or online at The Laundress Recall page online or at its website and click ”Get Started” on the homepage to begin the reimbursement process.

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