Mineral water contamination scare

Thousands of bottles of mineral water have been cleared from supermarket shelves amid fears that they are contaminated.

Bottles of Chiltern Hills Mineral Water and Ashridge Spring Water were recalled because of fears they contain faeces. The recall applies to all bottles, regardless of age. It covers still and sparkling water in all bottle sizes, whether in plastic or glass.

Food Standards Agency warned consumers not to drink the water

Chiltern Hills Mineral Water Ltd, which produces both of the brands, stressed that the recall was only a precaution. However, experts at the Food Standards Agency warned consumers not to drink the water.

'The most likely ill-effect, should one occur, from consuming the product would be a stomach upset,' said a spokesman. 'The situation, as I understand it, is that tests are still on-going as to what is actually in the water.'

Scientists were working to discover if the water was contaminated with organisms capable of causing more serious disease.

The recall was issued after scientific analysis suggested the water was contaminated with faeces. The source of the contamination was unknown.

The FSA spokesman said experts were still trying to find out how and when the contamination occurred. He said it was not clear how it had been discovered. He did not know how many bottles were in circulation.

He said: 'How many bottles are still on the shelves from up to 18 months ago, I don't know. I think that's when they started selling it.'

Customers urged to return bottles of mineral water

Customers are being urged to return any bottles of Chiltern Hills or Ashridge Spring to the shop where they bought them for a full refund.

Chiltern Hills waters are sold across the UK. The company supplies supermarkets, caterers and airlines. The water is sold to distributors in Russia, Ukraine, Greece, the Aegean and Mediterranean islands and the Caribbean. 

Thousands of office workers drink it from water coolers. The water comes direct from the Hertfordshire company's source where it takes 50 years to naturally filter through chalk hills. 

Scientists working at the company's bottling plant test the water every day from both the source and the production lines. 

David Kearns, managing director, said last night: 'This is a completely precautionary measure and is not in response to customer complaints. 

'As far as we are aware at the moment there is no risk to public health but tests are on-going.

We don't know how much this is going to cost us, certainly tens of thousands of pounds but probably hundreds of thousands.'

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Original Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6921/b-Mineral-water-contamination-scare-b.html#ixzz3Bix6XnG3