Wednesday, March 3, 2010

♫ Why does bottled water expire?

I poised the question: "Why does bottled water have an expiration date?"...and got no answer. Google, you're my hero.

Thanks to WikiAnswers, we can all be educated.

All companies that produce consumables must, by federal law, have an expiration date on it. Since bottled water is a consumable the company must put a expiration date on it. Some water becomes impure due to plastic melting or substances released into the water by the plastic.

Here are opinions and answers from WikiAnswerers:

* So that if you don't drink the water by that date you have to go out and buy a new bottle, thus creating more profit for the company which sold you the water

* There is a chance that over time (years), the container could cause the water to have a different taste. There is much more information at the website in the Links section.

* There are two main types of sterilization that all food and drink manufacturers use. The first is the use of peracetic acid that gives an instant kill to most pathogens (bugs that make you ill). The second is the use of steam. Holding a steam temperature of above 120 degrees in the product line for 15 minutes will kill virtually all pathogens. However, some bacteria form spores which are virtually indestructible and can last for millions of years. The only way to make totally sterile drinks would be to irradiate them, which wouldn't make them radioactive, but would make them cost a great deal of money to produce. Thus, the manufacturer cannot guarantee that their product is free of pathogens and gives it a 'use by' to minimize their liability. Packaging deterioration is the other reason for the "Best By" Date.

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that "Bottled Water" means pure, sterile, perfect water. It may surprise you to know that there is very little regulation concerning 'bottled water'. For example, it is common practice to label the bottle with such things as " Spring Water" or "Mountain fresh" while the water is actually taken directly from municipal sources! Look for yourself at the fine print and see.

Annnnnnd now you know.

Yours Truly,

I got the information from here: Bottled Water. They've got a pile of information on it that I didn't include, so check it out!


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