…Before You Brush Your Teeth at a Timeshare Resort

Many timeshare resorts do not provide the courtesy supply of toiletries that most of us expect to receive when we stay at a hotel. But because some timeshares do, I thought I would bring to your attention, yet another consumer recall related to products produced in China.

Several brands of toothpaste have been recalled by manufacturers in light of a US Food and Drug Administration alert about the presence of diethylene glycol (DEG), a chemical used as a coolant in automobiles. Indianapolis based, Gilchrist & Soames has issued a recall of a .65-ounce tube of toothpaste made by Ming Fai Enterprises, International of China and provided as a courtesy toiletry in some hotels and resorts.

The US Food and Drug Administration has a complete list of all the different brands of toothpaste that may contain this ingredient—including those sold by retailers, not just provided in hotels. Use this link, http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/toothpaste.html to check which toothpastes have been identified to contain (or possibly contain) DEG.

The request to destroy any remaining inventory of the product has extended to hoteliers in the US, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, the Turks & Caicos, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, according to an August 13 article in The Indianapolis Star’s online news site.

But which hotels have the toothpaste and has it been distributed in timeshare resorts as well?

think twice about hotel and timeshare toothpaste

I don’t know.

On August 20, 2007, I placed a telephone call to Gilchrist & Soames and promptly received a return call from Kathie De Voe, president of the company. She was forthright and helpful, but she did decline to identify whether any of the resorts receiving the toothpaste in question were timeshares. I can respect her position. Her customers—the hotels and resorts that purchased the product—have requested not to be singled out by name.

It is a safe assumption that because Gilchrist and Soames have been aggressive in notifying them and resolving the problem that hoteliers have likewise jumped into action and destroyed any of the toothpaste they have on hand. There is also a Guest Notification Program in place to notify frequent quests at hotels and advise them to discard any Gilchrist & Soames toothpaste they may have brought home in their travel kits during the past twelve months. Most importantly, there is no reason to panic. The FDA is very clear that there have not been any reported problems regarding the toothpaste.

The immediate fix is simple: if you have brought home a tube of toothpaste from a hotel, resort, or timeshare, go to your bathroom and toss it. My thanks to the always-informative blog. Hotel Hotsheet, written by Kitty Bean Yancey for USA Today, that first brought the matter to my attention in a post by Ben Abrahamson titled, Hotel toothpaste recalled after testing positive for toxins.