Nearly 1.9 Million Bottles Recalled Due to Manganese, Bacteria

Nearly 1.9 Million Bottles Recalled Due to Manganese, Bacteria

The producers of Fiji Natural Artesian Water have recalled nearly 1.9 million bottles of water after testing found the bottles contained manganese and three strains of bacteria. The recall by Natural Waters of Viti Limited was first issued in March but was announced late last week.

The bottles were sold at Amazon, which notified consumers who bought the water, a Fiji spokesperson told Health. Amazon sold the lots between February 1 and March 3.  

Nearly 79,000 cases of Fiji Natural Artesian Water 500 mL (24 pack) are involved in the recall, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All of the impacted cases have production dates of November 11, 2023, November 12, 2023, November 13, 2023, November 24, 2023, or November 25, 2023. The UPC Code on the cases is 6 32565 00004 3, while the UPC code on the individual bottles is 6 32565 00001 2.

Fiji Water said on X (formerly Twitter) that the company was “notified of a quality issue with complaints of discoloration in select product,” adding, “Fiji Water remains safe to buy and consume.”

The company later wrote that the notification from Amazon was “overstated.” They continued, “We have no reason to believe there is a health or safety issue. We have been diligently looking into this and are working with a third-party lab for this quality issue.”

This is a Class III recall, which means that it’s “not likely to cause adverse health consequences,” according to the FDA. (A Class I recall is the most severe and means that a product can cause serious health issues or even death.)

Health / FIJI Water Company LLC

Manganese is a naturally occurring element that is found in many types of rocks and soil, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Manganese is a trace element and is necessary for good health, but high levels in the body can impact the nervous system, causing behavioral changes.

Manganese can also cross the blood-brain barrier and has led to sperm damage and issues with male reproduction in laboratory animals that were fed high levels of the mineral.

Manganese naturally exists in low levels in beans, nuts, bottled, and tap water. However, the FDA has a maximum allowable concentration of manganese in bottled water of 0.05 milligrams per liter. It’s not clear how much manganese was detected in the recalled bottles.

Bacteria in water has the potential to make you sick, but it largely depends on the type of bacteria found. Fiji Water and the FDA did not provide more information on what kinds of bacteria were in the water.

A Fiji Water spokesperson told Health that the issue has been resolved.

“It involved a single customer” and “never posed any health or safety risk,” the spokesperson said. Fiji Water “conducted evaluations of the levels of manganese, a naturally occurring mineral, and any bacteria, and consumers can be fully confident of no health or safety risk. Simply stated, we recalled this limited supply of product because it did not align with the strict quality standards we uphold.”

“The affected products were immediately and voluntarily recalled, with 99% of affected bottles reclaimed and the remainder in warehouses to be returned,” the spokesperson added. “There is currently no issue of concern with Fiji Water.”

If you do happen to find a bottle or case of the impacted water in your home, contact Fiji Water at 1-866-406-4149 about a refund and dispose of the water.

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