The Department of Agriculture has said the supplier of the ViraPro hand sanitiser has not accounted fully for all of its product.

A spokesperson for the Department confirmed that the product was not in circulation. 

The Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue told the Agriculture Committee today that while the supplier demonstrated some compliance with the initial recall of 22 October, further deadlines of 28 October and 12 November had not been fully complied with to the Department's satisfaction.

He said the legal responsibility for the withdrawal of the product rests with the supplier concerned.

ViraPro was used extensively in schools, nursing homes and healthcare facilities until it was recalled last month.

It was found to contain methanol which can cause dermatitis. 

Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne said the recall raised huge issues about how the Department monitors the products that come into the country.

Mr McConalogue also said that lessons had been learned in the Department and he said the problem should have been escalated on 16 October when the initial results were confirmed.

He said a public notice should have been issued on that day rather than waiting until 22 October.

The Minister also said that he did not know about the problem until 22 October but he should have been told sooner by officials.

The committee heard that 75 products have been tested since then and no safety issues have been flagged.

Testing is continuing on a weekly basis.