FDA amends regulations for bottled water manufacturers
As currently required for bottled water products, manufacturers will also be required to test source water for contamination. Additional amendments are designed to bring bottled water standards up to EPA’s public drinking water standards.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending its bottled water regulations to require that bottled water manufacturers test source water for total coliform, as is required for finished bottled water products. Bottled water manufacturers will also be required, if any coliform organisms are detected in source water, to determine whether any of the coliform organisms are Escherichia coli (E. coli), an indicator of fecal contamination. This new requirement for determining E.coli contamination also applies to finished bottled water products.
Bottled water containing E. coli will be considered adulterated, and source water containing E. coli will not be considered to be of a safe, sanitary quality and will be prohibited from use in the production of bottled water.
Further FDA amendments to bottled water regulations require that, before a bottler can use source water from a source that has tested positive for E. coli, the bottler must take appropriate measures to rectify or eliminate the cause of E. coli contamination of that source, and that the bottler must keep records of such actions.
Existing regulatory provisions require bottled water manufacturers to keep records of new testing required by this rule. This final rule will ensure that FDA's standards for the minimum quality of bottled water, as affected by fecal contamination, will be no less protective of the public health than those set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for public drinking water.
This new rule is effective December 1, 2009.
Read other Control Engineering articles related to water contamination.
– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director