x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Two more water brands recalled

Three brands of drinking water containing unacceptable levels of a chemical produced in water treatment have been recalled - but not all of the products could be retrieved from shop shelves.

DUBAI // Authorities have ordered the recall of two more brands of bottled water after tests showed unacceptable levels of a chemical produced in water treatment.

The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has issued the order on a batch of the five-gallon Sana Mineral Water and Arabian Pure Drinking Water, and half-litre bottles of Masafi water for exceeding the accepted bromate levels.

On Monday, the supermarket chain Choithrams said it had cleared shelves of the half-litre Masafi bottles produced on February 17.

"As per instructions from the Ministry of Environment and Water, [ADFCA] has taken steps to withdraw containers of Masafi water which were not compliant with the specifications," Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, the director of communications at ADFCA, said yesterday.

Masafi issued a statement saying there was no danger. "Masafi bottled mineral water is safe for consumption and does not pose any health risks," a spokesman said.

The Gulf Standardisation Organisation (GSO) allows 10 micrograms a litre of bromate, a compound that can form during water purification.

The ministry last week said it had urged municipalities to recall a brand of bottled water because a sample contained a higher level of bromates than the GSO limit.

Sana Mineral Water confirmed that its water, produced on February 25, had received a withdrawal order from Sharjah Municipality.

But the company was able to take back only about 700 bottles. More than 1,000 had been sold.

"We give it to supermarkets and they sell it to customers," said Rajan Mallu, the sales manager of Sana. "We took back the water from customers to whom we delivered directly." Sana delivers water in Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman.

Mr Mallu blamed the bromate level - 12.5 micrograms per million - on a company that supplied lower-quality minerals for purifying water.

The company said it was cleared by the municipality on Monday.

Arabian Pure Drinking Water in Umm Al Quwain said the bromate in its batch produced on February 12 rose due to an excess of total dissolved solids in the ground water.

The company was able to recall only 800 of its 2,450 bottles supplied on that day in Dubai, Umm Al Quwain and Sharjah.

"Dubai Municipality asked us to give five samples," the company spokesman said. "They have now cleared us. This is the first time this has happened. We are taking more care in our production."