As part of its ongoing review of antibacterial active ingredients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule on Monday that would require companies to demonstrate that their antibacterial hand soaps and body washes are safe and effective.
Manufacturers who don’t demonstrate that their products are safe for long-term daily use and are more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections will need to reformulate or relabel their products to keep them on the market.
According to FDA, there is no evidence that antibacterial soaps are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. Some data even suggest that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products — triclosan in liquid soaps and triclocarban in bar soaps — could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.
Although the proposed rule does not deal with antiseptics used by the food industry, it does mention that inadequately washed hands could contaminate food and cause illness.© Food Safety News