Police seize likely homemade sanitizer from a 7-Eleven after a young boy was allegedly burned by it

Mar 11, 2020, 5:59 AM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:24 am
New Jersey Homemade Hand Sanitizer...
The sprays, shown here, have now been pulled from shelves at the 7-Eleven location. Credit: River Vale Police Department

(CNN) — If you’ve purchased hand sanitizer without a recognizable label in recent days, watch out.

New Jersey police responded to a local 7-Eleven on Monday night after reports that a young boy had been burned by an item sold there as “Spray Sanitizer.”

Officers with the River Vale Police Department paid the store a visit after photos posted to social media showed chemical burns to the boy’s arms and legs, according to a statement posted to the department’s Facebook page. Police seized the remaining bottles, the statement read.

About 12 bottles of the product were sold Monday. Photos of the sanitizer showed no discernible label, suggesting it may have been homemade in the face of widespread hand sanitizer shortages due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“While further investigation is underway, our first priority is to make the public aware that they should not use this item if they purchased it at the River Vale 7-Eleven,” Lt. John DeVoe said in a statement.

CNN reached out to the River Vale 7-Eleven store, but multiple calls to the business went unanswered.

The issue hasn’t been found in other 7-Eleven stores, just the River Vale location, DeVoe said. It is unclear whether the River Vale location is the maker of the product or acting as a retailer. The investigation is ongoing and those who purchased the item have been asked to contact the department.

The River Vale 7-Eleven location is owned by a 7-Eleven franchisee. According to a statement to CNN from 7-Eleven Inc., franchisees operate with independent business owners and “are obligated to comply with all federal, state and local laws related to the operations of their stores.”

“The safety and well-being of 7-Eleven customers is of utmost importance and our hearts are with this young man at this time,” the statement read. “We understand the severity of this situation and are cooperating with local law enforcement. We are reviewing this matter internally and will take appropriate action.”

Coronavirus outbreak has caused sanitizer shortages

In neighboring New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state will be producing its own hand sanitizer as a result of widespread shortages caused by the novel coronavirus.

Others have gone the DIY route, making their own hand sanitizing products despite wariness from experts.

More than 4,000 people around the world have died from the virus

In the United States alone, there have been hundreds of cases of the novel coronavirus and 29 deaths. More than 113,000 people are infected around the world, and more than 4,000 have died.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said washing hands is the best prevention against the virus, along with keeping mouths covered when sneezing or coughing and refraining from touching your face.

Products such as hand sanitizer can be good substitutes for washing hands. Wiping surfaces down with disinfecting wipes such as Lysol can also help prevent the spread of the virus.

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Police seize likely homemade sanitizer from a 7-Eleven after a young boy was allegedly burned by it