Not even water is safe from food contamination, it seems. (Photo: Getty Images)
Wegmans, a supermarket chain with devoted shoppers, and several other chains including Giant Food Stores, Shaws, and 7-Eleven, recalled their branded bottled water due to potential E. coli contamination.
Niagara Bottling, a leading private-label water bottling company in the United States, has reported that E. coli bacteria was found in one of its spring water sources on June 10, 2015. “These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems,” the company wrote in a statement.
Niagara Bottling said no reports of illness have been found, nor has anyone submitted a formal complaint, but that voluntary recall is still in effect.
“Out of an abundance of caution and in the strict interest of public safety, Niagara Bottling, LLC is issuing a voluntary recall for all spring water products produced at both the Hamburg, PA and Allentown, PA facilities from the time frame of 3 a.m. June 10th to 8 p.m. June 18, 2015,” Niagara Bottling wrote in it’s statement.
Other brands affected besides Wegmans include Acadia (the store brand of Giant Food Stores), Acme, Big Y, Best Yet, 7-Eleven, Niagara, Nature’s Place, Pricerite, Superchill, Morning Fresh, Shaws, Shoprite, and Western Beef Blue. Niagara Bottling’s consumer notice provides more details.
Here’s how to determine whether your water has been affected:
To ascertain whether products you have are affected, reference the following information on the code found on the bottle. The code will indicate the place, date, and time that the product was produced. The affected products have codes that begin with the letter F (for Hamburg) or A (for Allentown). The first digit after the letter indicates the number of the production line. The next two numbers indicate the day, then the month in letters, the year, and then the time, based on a 24-hour clock.
Consider the following example: A610JUN15 2000 indicates that the bottle of water was produce via Allentown line 6, and manufactured on June 10, 2015, at 8 p.m.
Like Niagara Bottling company, Jeni’s CEO said in a statement at the time that the company would rather be safe than sorry regarding its decision to recall all of its products. “We have decided to recall everything currently on retailer shelves, and we are closing our scoop shops until we are 100% confident every item we sell is safe,” the statement read.
Sabra Hummus also issued a recall in April due to a separate listeria possibility. Certainly, the recent incidents make one wonder about the food in our supermarkets — is it more likely to be contaminated, or are we just more aware of contamination? More than likely, the latter explanation is the primary factor.
Lisa Moskovitz, RD, founder of New York Nutrition Group, told Yahoo Health, “The FDA has just become more and more diligent on detecting these types of contaminants, and then protecting consumers by spreading the news as fast as possible.”
In addition to recalls themselves, the word also spreads a lot faster thanks to social media platforms and the 24-hour news cycle.