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E Coli Discovered In Water Bottles Leads To Massive Recall

July 1, 2015

14 brands of bottled water have been recalled due to possible infections with the dangerous bacteria E. coli. A June 24 news report discussed how hundreds of thousands of these bottles of water had to be recalled because of E. coli being reported at the spring where the water is sourced. Is this a very common event that you should have to worry about? Officials have stated that it’s uncommon for E. coli to be in natural springs, and evidence from the past seems to back up that statement.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s last recall for possible E. coli contamination was in April 2014. 35,000 gallons of Aqua Filter Fresh water were recalled due to the potential contamination, but that’s hardly any water being recalled when compared to this week’s recalls. There have been over 800,000 gallons of water recalled.

In 2009, the FDA started regulating bottled water manufacturers, requiring them to test for E. coli by identifying coliform bacteria at the source of their springs. If coliform is present, E. coli may be as well, although it’s not common. If E. coli is present, it could be there due to animal or human feces reaching the water or due to insects carrying the bacteria. Unfortunately, the bacteria can cause serious health conditions in some people and may cause cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and other symptoms if ingested.

In this case, the facilities were being overly cautious by recalling so many of their products; only one of several tests came back positive initially. Later tests showed three out of four further samples tested positive, leading to the mass recall. Despite the recall, the water affected was only that bottled between the 10th and 18th of June in Niagara’s Pennsylvanian facilities.

Source: NJ.com, “After recall of 14 brands of bottled water, we ask ‘How could E. coli get into bottled water?,” Craig McCarthy, June 24, 2015

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