Foodborne Illness

11 states affected in bottled water recall, company spokesman says

Stock image of bottled water

Stock image of bottled water

California-based water bottling company Niagara Bottling recalled 14 of its brands Monday after one of its spring sources detected E. coli bacteria in its water supply on Wednesday, June 10. The company said in an updated news release Monday that it recalled its products out of an abundance of caution, and that the recall was necessary because one of its contracted springs "failed to notify us that there was evidence of E. coli bacteria at the spring source."

Niagara Bottling said the recall affects 11 states. The following brands— produced at its Hamburg, Pennsylvania, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, facilities— have been recalled:

1. Acadia
2. Acme
3. Big Y
4. Best Yet
5. 7-11
6. Niagara
7. Nature’s Place
8. Pricerite
9. Superchill
10. Morning Fresh
11. Shaws
12. Shoprite
13. Western Beef Blue
14. Wegman’s

Stan Bratskeir, a spokesman for Niagara Bottling, told that the 11 states affected are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Affected products include those with codes beginning with the letter F (from the Hamburg facility) and A (from the Allentown facility), and those that were produced between 3 a.m. June 10 to 8 p.m. June 18. According to the release, the first digit after the letter indicates the number of the production line, while the next two indicate the day, then the month in letters, the year, and then the time based on a 24-hour clock. All products manufactured elsewhere and not within that time frame are not affected. 

Niagara Bottling advised against drinking affected water before boiling it and to drink other bottled water instead.

The company confirmed it hasn't received any reports of illness or injury. E. coli is marked by the potential presence of human or animal waste contamination. These microbes may lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches. People who are immunosuppressed, as well as infants, young children and the elderly, are at an increased risk of infection.

Bratskeir told that Niagara Bottling’s water goes through a two-step process that includes microfiltration and ozonation to disinfect water before it goes into bottles.

“Even if there was an issue [with] the water— which tested negative— it would have gone into the bottles as clean water during the manufacturing process,” said Bratskeir, who added that it’s possible infected products affected retailers on June 15 or 16. But “even then, if the retailer follows the first in, first out rule, there is even a greater likelihood that none of the products even hit consumers’ hands,” he said.

The company said in the updated release that it has discontinued business with the spring source where E. coli was detected, and that when it learned of the potential presence of the bacteria, it shut down its operations and disinfected its bottling lines.

For more information on the recall, contact:        
Niagara Bottling, LLC Consumer Service
(877) 487-7873

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