7-Eleven Store Owner Accused of Selling Homemade Sanitizer Which Burned Children

The owner of a 7-Eleven store in New Jersey has been arrested on suspicion of selling a homemade sanitizing spray which allegedly left children suffering burns.

Manisha Bharade, 47, has been charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly selling the dangerous product in the convenience store in River Vale, Bergen County.

The River Vale Police Department said they were made aware of an issue with "Spray Sanitizer" being sold at the store after pictures emerged on social media showing a young boy with apparent burns to his arm and leg. At least four other children are also said to have suffered similar injuries.

Officers arrived at the store and seized the remaining bottles which were on sale.

"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," Lieutenant John DeVoe said in a statement.

"As far as we know, this issue is limited to the River Vale store at this time. From the information that we received, approximately one dozen of the bottles were sold to customers."

Bharade is alleged to have mixed commercially available foaming sanitizer which was not meant for resale with water, which unwittingly created a harmful chemical reaction.

Bharade was also charged with deceptive business practices before being released on a summons pending her next court appearance, reported the Daily Voice.

sanitizer
Manisha Bharade has been charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly selling the homemade sanitizer at her 7-Eleven store. River Vale Police Department

It is believed that Bharade made the sanitizer herself amid national shortages due to the coronavirus.

"I think that the parents need to be diligent to make sure that we're using only products that are sanctioned and sold under a consumer product," DeVoe told WABC.

"The last thing we want to do is to start buying into panic and creating our own type of sanitizers from compounds that we don't know what they contain. That's when the danger occurs. That's when the compounds and mix and have a negative reaction, which is likely what occurred in this scenario."

In a statement to Newsweek, a 7-Eleven spokesperson said, "The safety and well-being of 7-Eleven customers is of utmost importance and our hearts are with this young man at this time.

"This store is owned by a 7-Eleven Franchisee. Franchisees operate as independent business owners and are obligated to comply with all federal, state and local laws related to the operations of their stores.

"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."

There have been a total of 1,039 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., with 8 recovered and 29 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide there are over 120,000 cases, with over 65,900 recovered and over 4,300 deaths.

The infographic below, provided by Statista, shows the number of COVID-19 infections worldwide as of March 11.

Statista, coronavirus, infections, worldwide, infographic, March 11
This infographic from Statista shows the number of COVID-19 infections worldwide as of March 11. Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice:

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks