Health Canada expands recall of Cottonelle flushable wipes over potential bacterial contamination

TORONTO — Health Canada has expanded a recall of Cottonelle Flushable Wipes sold in Canadian stores due to a potential bacterial contamination.

The recall, issued Wednesday, warns that the affected products may contain the bacterium, Pluralibacter gergoviae, a common household microorganism that can cause infections, especially in those with weakened immune systems.

Personal care manufacturer Kimberly-Clark previously issued a recall of the wipes in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 9.

At the time, the recall was limited to specific lots of Cottonelle Flushable Wipes and Cottonelle GentlePlus Flushable Wipes including the 10 pack of flushable wipes sold at Canadian Costco stores.

Health Canada has since expanded the recall to include six different products. The agency says the affected products can be identified by their UPC code, located on the bottom of the package, or by entering the product’s lot code in the Kimberly-Clark lot checker online.

The affected products include:

  • Cottonelle Flushable Wipes, Flip Top, 42 Count, UPC: 036000449327
  • Cottonelle Flushable Wipes, Flip Top, 2 PK x 42 Count, UPC: 036000359701
  • Cottonelle Flushable Wipes, Flip Top, 4 PK x 42 Count, UPC: 036000434781
  • Cottonelle Flushable Wipes, Flip Top, CA Pallet 10 PK x 56 Count, UPC: 036000486742
  • Cottonelle GentlePlus Flushable Wipes, Flip Top, 42 Count, UPC: 036000497762
  • Cottonelle GentlePlus Flushable Wipes, Flip Top, 2 PK x 42 Count, UPC: 036000489859

Kimberly-Clark reported that 2,064,860 units of the affected products were sold in Canada from Feb. 14, 2020 to Oct. 7, 2020.

Health Canada advises that consumers immediately stop using the recalled products and dispose of them. The agency said Canadians can contact Kimberly-Clark to obtain a refund or for more information on proper disposal.

While Pluralibacter gergoviae rarely causes serious infections in healthy individuals, the agency says individuals who suffer from a serious pre-existing condition, who have been treated surgically, or belong to another sensitive group of persons are at an increased risk of infection if they use the contaminated product.

As of Oct. 7, the company said it has received no reports of incidents or serious injuries in Canada.

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