They are understood to have been part of a stockpile built up in 2009 in case of a flu pandemic.
Batches of surgical face masks delivered to care homes and GPs during the coronavirus pandemic have been recalled because they are faulty, Sky News has learnt.
The masks, which are out of date by as much as seven years but were deemed safe to use, have been withdrawn after faults were reported with the straps and nose protection which hold them in place
In a recall notice issued by the Department of Health and Social Care on 26 June, care homes were told they must immediately stop using the Cardinal Healthcare IIR masks and destroy them because of "a risk to staff" if the masks degrade
More than 80 different batches of the mask have now been recalled.
They are understood to have been part of a stockpile built up in 2009 in case of a flu pandemic and their shelf life extended after testing by the manufacturer.
It has left some care home bosses and doctors concerned that staff and patients could have contracted the virus despite using the personal protective equipment because of the fault, which was first identified in May.