Bottled water products are required to comply at all times with U.S. Food and Drug Administration Standards of Quality. As with other food products, bottled water is subject to the food adulteration and misbranding requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and is subject to the full array of FDA enforcement actions including warning letters, civil (seizure and/or injunction) and criminal penalties. As with other food products, bottled water may be recalled from the marketplace.
Similar to the EPA system for tap water, FDA helps ensure regulatory compliance through its partnerships with local and regional FDA offices as well as through state regulatory agencies. EPA itself does not, as a matter of routine practice, conduct tests on tap water treatment plants. However, like EPA, FDA maintains the authority to test products and conduct plant inspections at any time.
Stricter Standards at IBWA
In addition to federal and state regulations, IBWA members are required to adhere to standards in the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which in several cases are stricter than FDA, EPA, and state bottled water regulations. The IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is enforced through a mandatory, annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
With much attention focused on the safety and security of the nation's food supply, the bottled water industry has elevated its efforts to provide consumers with a safe, high quality product. The numerous federal and state regulations and standards already in place, coupled with the bottled water industry's use of enhanced learning and security systems to help ensure the safety and security of our products, mean that consumers can trust and rely upon their bottled water.