On May 23rd, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a massive recall of more than 78,000 plastic bottled water sold by a popular brand in the packaged water space. The recall was launched amidst growing concerns about manganese contamination and bacteria brewing within the product. Initially shipped to Washington before being distributed nationwide via online retailers like Amazon & other direct to consumer digital platforms. the bottles including via online retailers like Amazon.com. First classified as a Class III recall, meaning it’s not likely to cause severe health complications, the sheer size of the recall is enough to raise red flags amongst consumers and governing bodies overseeing the safety and efficacy of products available to the general public.

Understanding the Recall

Melissa England, a spokeswoman for The Wonderful Company, which represents the brand in question, has released a counter statement, reassuring the public Fiji Natural that majority of the affected bottles have been reclaimed following the announcement. All remaining bottles are currently being held in warehouses with the intention to be returned. England states “there is no health or safety risk posed from manganese or bacteria in the recalled lots of FIJI Water”. “There is no higher priority to us than the safety and quality of Fiji Water.”

This incident brings a broader issue to light and propagates the critical need for safer, more reliable alternatives as well as the prevalence of contaminated packaged water being sold to the public without transparency on the potential risks associated with the product.

The Growing Concern Over Bottled Water

Beyond the current findings, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed alarming levels of microplastics in bottled water, with an average of 240,000 plastic particles per liter. This is 10 to 100 times higher than previous estimates, raising serious concerns about the potential health risks posed by these invisible pollutants. Due to the diminutive nature of these pervasive contaminants, Microplastics can easily penetrate human tissue, including vital organs, disrupting important cellular processes when exposed to these harmful chemicals. When paired with the bacterial contaminants found in the recalled plastic bottled water, it’s clear there is legitimate cause for concern within the packaged water space.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself & Your Family

In light of these revelations, the need for public access to safer packaged water alternatives tops the list of consumer safety measures & the desperate need for tighter regulations within the bottled water space. At JUST, we have taken extensive measures from the get-go to ensure our customers can safely consume our water without any potential health risks. Beyond our brand ethos to protect & preserve our planet by reducing the unnecessary use of plastic when producing our products, these measures simultaneously achieved a concurrent goal to provide the highest quality & safest source of water to our customers. If we wouldn’t drink it ourselves, we wouldn’t offer it. Our customers are our family, and family comes first, always. Here are a few ways we’ve accomplished both missions:

  1. Consumer Safety: Through rigorous testing, we’ve achieved and maintain the status as a consumable product that meets the standards established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the California Department of Public Health. These regulations firmly state that food and beverage offerings must meet a minimum standard in order to be sold to the public.
  2. Purposeful Packaging: We’ve ensured the plant-based and aluminum packaging used to house our intentionally sourced spring water uses as minimal plastic as possible, made from plant-based recyclable material, and lab-tested for quality, safety, & of course, taste. No one wants to drink cardboard flavored water, so we’ve ensured every sip is as refreshing as it was streaming down the mountains it came from.
  3. Sustainable Sourcing: As mentioned above, we’ve taken every step to responsibly source our water, diligently protecting the watersheds and surrounding area remain unscathed.
  4. Carbon Neutral: We counter the impact of our carbon footprint The company offsets its carbon footprint through renewable energy and participating in planet-first initiatives.

What's Next?

While the recent recall presents a host of disturbing information, it does help to build awareness amongst consumers so that they can make informed decisions when choosing a brand of packaged water. Though upsetting, there is new hope that plastic bottled water will face more stringent testing requirements and higher regulatory standards before hitting the market, establishing a new, safer paradigm within the beverage space.

Related Articles