The International Council of Bottled Water Associations members are required to meet Codex Alimentarius Commission, national, regional, and industry standards for bottled water.
The Codex Alimentarius, or the food code, has become the seminal global reference point for consumers, food producers and processors, national food control agencies and the international food trade. The code has had an enormous impact on the thinking of food producers and processors as well as on the awareness of the end users – the consumers. Its influence extends to every continent, and its contribution to the protection of public health and fair practices in the food trade is immeasurable. In 1985, the United Nations adopted guidelines which advised “Governments should take into account the need of all consumers for food security and should support and, as far as possible, adopt standards from the “Codex Alimentarius” of FAO and the World Health Organization. www.codexalimentarius.net
Bottled water industry standards are applied through Member Associations. Each Member is required to have a Model Code outlining specific bottled water good manufacturing practices and quality control standards.
Each bottling production plant is required to undergo an annual plant inspection to determine compliance with standards set forth in the Model Code. These inspections are conducted by approved third-party organizations that specialize in food standards, safety and quality controls, testing records, and reviews all areas of plant operation from source to finished product.
Another condition of bottler membership within each Member Association requires regular microbial testing using qualified personnel, and to pass an annual water analysis administered by an independent laboratory covering potential contaminants determined by regulatory officials and the World Health Organization.