On June 23rd, a Canadian company recalled bottled water produced at two Pennsylvania bottling facilities. These plants produced a number of store brands for various retail customers.
Bottling water seems easy, but any manufactured food or beverage product must be produced with adequate food safety systems in place.
In this case, generic E. coli were found, which are not necessarily pathogens. But the presence of these organisms indicates the potential for enteric pathogens, and at the least, that unsanitary conditions exist. Companies use E. coli testing because it is a good indicator and is a relatively simple analysis.
14 Brands Of Bottled Water Voluntarily Recalled Due To Potential E. Coli Contamination
By Alena Hall
Posted: 06/22/2015 5:51 pm EDT Updated: 06/23/2015 11:59 am EDT
A water bottling company that is responsible for 14 different brands issued a voluntary recall on Monday after discovering that one of their spring water sources tested positive for E. coli bacteria.
“E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes," a representative of Niagara Bottling LLC said in a statement. "Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems."
The recall affected all spring water products from Niagra's Hamburg and Allentown, Pennsylvania, facilities. There haven't been any reported injuries or illnesses related to the recall, but the company has terminated its relationship with the independent source Far Away Spring in Auburn, Pennsylvania and continues its operations at the Hamburg and Allentown plants with spring water from other sources.
The recall includes all spring water products purchased between June 10 at 3 a.m. and June 18 at 8 p.m. from the two Pennsylvania operations, and the brands affected are: Acadia, Acme, Big Y, Best Yet, 7-Eleven, Niagara, Nature’s Place, Pricerite, Superchill, Morning Fresh, Shaws, ShopRite, Western Beef Blue and Wegmans. Stores recalling the water bottles alongside Niagara Bottling include Wegmans, ShopRite, 7-Eleven and Acme.
The affected products have codes beginning with the letter F (for Hamburg) or A (for Allentown). The first digit after that letter refers to its number in the production line. The following numbers and letters reveal the day, month, year and time the product was completed. View a list of the recalled lots with case codes and best-by dates here.
Niagara Bottling has completed product testing and did not find any contaminants or related issues, but still recommend boiling their water for one minute and cooling it to kill potential bacteria and other organisms in the water before drinking it, or avoiding it altogether if possible. They are offering consumers a full refund for their affected products upon return.
The company requests that you contact them with further questions about the recall at (877) 487-7873.
Niagara Bottling LLC Release
UPDATED – Monday, June 22, 2015
Last week, we issued a voluntary recall of spring water produced at our two (2) Pennsylvania plants from June 10-18th, 2015 because the operator at one of our contracted springs failed to notify us that there was evidence of E. coli bacteria at the spring source.
Because there has been a great deal of misinformation reported and circulated over the last 24 hours, we felt it was necessary to issue this clarifying statement.
Niagara Bottling performs extensive testing on both incoming spring water as well as finished products. We have confirmed there have been no issues or E. coli contamination of any kind detected in our finished products or in the spring water that was delivered to our bottling facility.
Once we were informed of the potential presence of E. coli at the spring source, we immediately shut down our operations, disinfected our bottling lines and initiated a voluntary recall in an abundance of caution and in the interests of consumer safety.
This recall only relates to spring water produced in our Pennsylvania manufacturing facilities from June 10-18th, 2015. It does not relate to any purified water or any spring water produced outside of Pennsylvania or outside the June 10-18th, 2015 timeframe.
To determine whether your product is part of this recall, please visit the links below. If you don’t see your product on the list, it was completely unaffected by the recall and is completely safe to drink.
Niagara has been family-owned and family run for over 50 years. Nothing is more important to us than consumer safety, which is why we issued this recall.
If you have any additional concerns, please contact our Consumer Affairs Department at (888) 943-4894.
States impacted by the voluntary spring water recall:
District of Columbia
Out of an abundance of caution and in the interests of maintaining the highest possible standards for product quality, Niagara® is issuing a voluntary recall for Spring Water products produced from its Pennsylvania manufacturing facilities during the June 10th – June 18th time frame.
VERY IMPORTANT: No other dates of Niagara bottled water are affected by this recall.
Niagara was notified that the spring source was potentially compromised. There have been no reports of any illness or injury related to the above mentioned products to date and finished product testing detected no contaminants or issues of any kind. This voluntary withdrawal is being implemented in cooperation with State and Federal Agencies.
If you have questions about which products are affected, please contact us online or at (888) 943-4894.