For Ontarians who have picked up some COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits lately, they might want to double-check what they have at home because some counterfeit tests have been sold in the province.
In a news release issued on August 5, Health Canada warned Ontarians of the counterfeit test kits, which come in a 25-pack.
The fake kits were sold online by a company called Healthful Plus, which the federal government agency says sold these tests without the required license to "import, distribute or sell medical devices in Canada."
What the counterfeit test kits look like inside.Health Canada | News release
So, how do you spot a fake one from the real thing?
According to Health Canada, you have to keep your eyes peeled for the colour of some of the packaging, and the font on the kits. After opening up three different boxes, the health agency also noted that the contents inside the kits vary, and the pouches that carry the tests aren't green.
These counterfeit rapid antigen tests have a label that says it was manufactured by "Health Advance Inc." instead of BTNX Inc. There's also some text that says the products were "Health Canada Approved", which the federal health agency says isn't allowed.
"Counterfeit health products are imitations of authentic products. The safety and effectiveness of these counterfeit kits have not been assessed by Health Canada," health officials wrote.
The packaging of the counterfeit COVID-19 rapid antigen tests.Health Canada | News release
After learning about the existence of these fake test kits, Health Canada learned that the purchaser had bought these kits for personal use. One shipment of over 400 boxes was sent to Health Canada so they can check to see what was happening with these products.
"Based on the information to date, the issue appears to be limited to one manufacturer, Health Advance Inc., and one distributor, Healthful Plus," the news release reads.
"Health Advance Inc. appears to no longer be manufacturing medical devices and Healthful Plus's website has been removed and the company appears to no longer be in operation."
So, what should you do if you have one of these counterfeit tests?
Well, Health Canada says not to use it and to throw it away in your household garbage. You can also report it to BTNX Inc. by calling them toll-free at 1-888-339-9964 or via email with the subject line "Suspected Counterfeit BTNX Tests."
Right now, the feds don't believe that any more of these fake tests have been sold or distributed anywhere else in the country.