Canadian Tire Apologizes For Selling Mislabelled Face Masks At A Toronto Store
The company is issuing full refunds and has pulled the product from shelves.
Canadian Tire has apologized for mislabelled face masks sold at its store in North York. Photos popped up on social media criticizing the high prices of the masks and the fact they were labelled as N95s, but were, in fact, surgical masks. The Canadian Tire face masks can be returned for a full refund, their spokesperson told Narcity.
The location in question is the one located at Sheppard and Leslie in Toronto.
A Twitter user posted photos of surgical masks labelled as N95 masks, selling for $19.99. There was also a sign saying "4 per customer."
"@CanadianTire These are clearly not N95 masks, but surgical masks," he wrote in the tweet.
"It's not right to prey on public confusion and panic to make money. This was at the Leslie and Sheppard location. Please correct this at all of your stores ASAP."
It looks like this wasn't the only location where masks were being sold for seemingly inflated prices.
Another user posted a photo on January 30 of an unknown Canadian Tire location which was reportedly selling the masks for $34.99, according to the tweet.
By comparison, a five-pack of N95 of Cool Flow masks is being sold for $19.99 on Canadian Tire's website.
People have been stocking up on face masks and , clearing store shelves all over the city. Two coronavirus cases have been in Toronto, as well as a third reported case in London, Ontario.
In an email to Narcity, Canadian Tire said that the masks sold at this particular store were mislabelled. They will be offering full refunds for the masks with SKU #899-4998.
"Canadian Tire takes the health and safety of our customers very seriously," External Communications Manager Cathy Kurzbock said in the email.
N95 masks are designed to protect against harmful particles, including bacteria. Surgical masks do not provide as much respiratory protection as N95 masks, according to the CDC.
The CDC says "most surgical masks do not effectively filter small particles from the air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales."
"Upon learning that the vendor incorrectly labelled the masks as N95 certified, we immediately pulled this product from our stores and we apologize for the labelling error. All masks with SKU # 899-4998 can be returned to any of our stores for a full refund,” they wrote in the email.
It is still unclear if any other Canadian Tire stores were selling these mislabelled masks, but the company has assured that they have since been pulled from shelves.