Caring for Our Childen (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.2 Quality of the Outdoor and Indoor Environment

5.2.6 Water Supply and Plumbing Emergency Safe Drinking Water and Bottled Water

Emergency safe drinking water should be supplied during interruption of the regular approved water supply. Bottled water should be certified as chemically and bacteriologically potable by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), local health department or its designee.
Children must have constant access to fresh, potable water if the regular approved supply of drinking water is temporarily interrupted.
The FDA regulates commercially bottled water and has established specific regulations for bottled water in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR) (1). In addition to the FDA, state and local governments also regulate bottled water. Commercially-bottled water is considered to have an indefinite safety shelf life if it is produced in accordance with current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) and quality standard regulations and is stored in an unopened, properly sealed container. Therefore, FDA does not require an expiration date for bottled water. However, long-term storage of bottled water may result in aesthetic defects, such as off-odor and taste. Bottlers may voluntarily put expiration dates on their labels. The materials used to produce plastic containers for bottled water are regulated by the FDA as food contact substances. Food contact substances must be approved under FDA’s food additive regulations. Commercial bottled water containers should not be used for any purpose other than to hold drinking water. Other liquids should not be stored in bottled-water containers. All drinking water containers must be thoroughly washed and sanitized prior to being refilled with drinking water. For information on safe plastics, see Standard

Under FDA labeling rules, bottled water includes products labeled: bottled water, drinking water, artesian water, mineral water, sparkling bottled water, spring water, purified water, distilled, de-mineralized, de-ionized, or reverse osmosis water. Waters with added carbonation, soda water (or club soda), tonic water, and seltzer historically are regulated by FDA as soft drinks (1).

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RELATED STANDARDS Supply of Food and Water for Disasters Plastic Containers and Toys
  1. Posnick, L. M., H. Kim. 2002. Bottled water regulation and the FDA. Food Safety Mag (Aug/Sept).