In Kerala, the Food Safety wing is carrying out inspections on units manufacturing packaged drinking water, following complaints that many of the brands do not maintain the required standards.

Authorities are also checking the sources from which these manufacturers are drawing water.

Food Safety officials said in many cases, equipment such as reverse osmosis plants and ultraviolet filteration units were found in a state of disrepair. Samples of water were drawn from the units which were being inspected, and in many cases, issues such as low PH levels and the presence of contaminants and bacteria were found.

Officials reported that in many cases, the hygiene in the manufacturing units was not maintained, and further, the source of the water was home-based wells. This water was simply packaged and sold, without any processing.

The Bureau of Indian Standards has laid down specific guidelines for the production and sale of packaged drinking water, and BIS certification is mandatory.

“Consumers should ensure that packaged drinking water they buy has an ISI mark, especially if the brand is an unfamiliar one. The bottle should be shaken and held upside down to see if there are any floating sediments. The seal of the bottle should be checked too,” K. Gopakumar, Research Officer, Food Safety wing, said.


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