New Protocol on Bottled Water

New Protocol on Bottled WaterNew Protocol on Bottled Water

A new set of hygienic practices and technological instructions on treatment and bottling of drinking and mineral water have been devised by the Food and Drug Administration.

“In line with the FDA’s health policies, the Department of Food and Cosmetic Products Quality Control took the initiative to review and revise the protocols on technological instruction on treatment and bottling of drinking water,” said Dr. Hedayat Hosseini, the department’s director general, Borna News Agency reported.

In early July, Health Minister Hassan Hashemi directed the public health watchdog to check content and packaging of all bottled water brands in the country. He also instructed the FDA to determine the genuine brands of mineral water and whether the packaging material or process is harmful to human health.

Some bottled water brands were found to contain nitrate above the permissible levels as well as microbial contaminants, and the production licenses of 10% of bottled water companies were suspended by the FDA in mid-September and their brands withdrawn from the market. The production line for a major brand ‘Damavand’ was completely halted and the factory was shut down due to its operation in spite of several warnings.

Hosseini said the new protocol includes reducing nitrate levels from 50 parts per million (PPM) to 30, increasing the permissible distance of the bottling section from pollutant sources, separating water treatment from the bottle-producing section, and a directive on using light resistant material for packaging.

Readjusting the allowable amount of acetaldehyde to 6 PPM and formaldehyde to 15 PPM followed by constant and regular screening, setting new benchmarks for microbial count and microbiological safety and increasing the number of microorganisms that are examined in both drinking and mineral water, are among other instructions to be strictly monitored by the FDA in bottled water factories.