The Department of Education has written to schools recalling more than 50 sanitising products, including hand sanitisers, wipes, detergents, and hand soaps.

It has advised schools of "further safety concerns related to the items, which were all previously recommended for use on departmental procurement documents".

The recall comes after issues were found with the registration of the products during a review.

The department has ordered "their full withdrawal and replacement before Monday morning".

The list of items contains more than 50 products supplied to schools by nine different companies.

They include Critical Healthcare, Workwear Experts, Reach Group, Charles Hughes Ltd, Shaw Scientific, JBS Group, Aquila Bioscience, Nugent Safety, and Lennox.

Last weekend, the department said it was reviewing all biocidal or sanitising products that it had recommended for use in schools.

This followed the withdrawal of all products supplied by a company called ViraPro.

In a statement, it said: "The department is taking 43 biocidal and 9 other products off the approved list for schools because it has not been possible to satisfactorily confirm their registration status as part of the review.

"These products will not be included in our approved list for schools until their registration status has been confirmed.

"The department has no evidence that these products are unsafe."

The Minister for Education has said there was nothing to indicate that sanitisation products recalled by the department this evening are unsafe.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Norma Foley said the issue  was a "technical licensing issue".

The minister said there had been confusion or inconsistency and "perhaps a lack of clarity" as to what exactly had been required from the suppliers.

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She said that many had believed that they needed an EU or an Irish certification or derogation.

Ms Foley said the regulator had now made it clear that an Irish certification number was required.

Read a full list of the recalled products

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, which is the regulator of biocidal products, and the Education Procurement Service are dealing with the suppliers of the products regarding their registration status.

The Department of Education said that "it may be possible to reinstate these products to the agreement at a later date".

It added: "Where schools have stocks of the products listed as "removed" ... whether purchased through the agreement or purchased locally, they should not use them and they should store them securely until collected by the supplier.

"Schools impacted by the removal of these products will be provided with funding to source new supplies. 

"The Department of Education has issued to schools an updated list of all the products on the agreement, effective today, with all relevant associated pricing.  

"The suppliers and products on the agreement will be monitored on an ongoing basis and any further changes to the list will be notified to schools.

"The Education Procurement Service has engaged with suppliers on the agreement in the last few days and there is sufficient stocks available for schools to order.  

"Schools seeking new product to replace stock should contact any of the suppliers on the agreement directly to process orders.

"The Department is working with suppliers to ensure that stock is provided to schools in time for reopening on Monday 2 November where needed. Suppliers are ready to prioritise school orders they receive."

It said that an aide would be available to schools for two days to help with any issues and they should contact the Schools Covid-19 helpline (057 9324461) or email if they have problems sourcing an alternative supply or funding.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has said that "only products listed on the Department's Biocidal Product Register may be placed on the market in Ireland".

It said they should have a clearly visible PCS or IE-BPA or EU number on the label.

It added: "Suppliers of biocidal products are legally required to ensure that their products are safe and effective.

"It has now become clear that there are some products on the market that are not properly registered.

"Where issues in relation to registration arise, the Department is taking appropriate action, on a precautionary basis."

It added that "there is no reason to believe that the failure to register a product gives rise of itself to specific concerns in relation to safety or efficacy".

INTO General Secretary John Boyle said: "It is very concerning that many of the products on the approved list of resources have now been deemed inappropriate.

"That this information has come to light during the mid-term break is very unsatisfactory. School leaders and boards of management needed this break to recharge after an incredibly stressful nine weeks."

TUI General Secretary Michael Gillespie said: "While we recognise and regret the disruption that this will cause, the TUI believes that recalling the products is the necessary and correct decision.

"The TUI called for a full standards audit of all the products that have been procured and we are pleased that the Department has acted on that call."