New York Tampering No Implication of Bottled Water Safety and Quality

Dec. 28, 2000

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has issued a statement following recent news reports that three people in New York City became ill after drinking bottled water.

According to press reports, local health and police officials and FBI representatives are focusing their investigation on potential criminal tamperings after the products left the bottled water manufacturers. IBWA further stated that its member companies are working diligently with authorities in their investigation.

"These appear to be local and isolated criminal actions involving products sold in New York City alone," said Stephen R. Kay, IBWA vice president of communications. "The IBWA member companies involved have performed – and continually implement – quality checks on water and equipment and there is nothing to indicate that the contamination originated in the manufacturing or distribution chain. While these events in New York are tragic, they have no relation to the overall safety and quality of bottled water."

IBWA reminds consumers that they should look carefully at all food products, including bottled water, for evidence of tampering before consuming them. "We advise consumers to open the bottle themselves or have it opened in front of them, and sniff the contents before consuming to determine if there are any unusual or suspect odors," Kay said.

"Tamper-evident packaging does not prevent criminals from contaminating a product. However, it can provide a visual indicator of tampering. This is why we, again, urge consumers to inspect their product's packaging and if they have questions or concerns about their bottled water products, they should immediately contact the bottled water company directly using the contact information that can be found on the label."

Bottled water is a food product that is fully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state authorities and is subject to comprehensive production, safety and quality regulations. Kay said, "Bottled water is held to the highest standards by the FDA, state and the industry through the IBWA Model Code, which follows the bottled water process from its origin to the finished product."

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters distributed in the United States. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with state and federal governments, in concert with the IBWA Model Code, to set stringent bottled water standards for safe, high quality products.

SOURCE: PR Newswire