A brand of water that has been linked to an outbreak of non-viral hepatitis remains on shelves for sale, even as federal officials scramble to enact and enforce a recall. And, there is growing cause to believe that the recall effort may actually be getting stalled by Real Water themselves.
The company markets an alkalized water product and sells it in a variety of sizes for public consumption, including the large jugs commonly seen on office and home water coolers. An outbreak of the non-viral form of hepatitis was linked back to Real Water products earlier this year and the FDA, as well as Real Water themselves, appeared to be on track to recall the products after numerous incidents of illness were reported.
The non-viral form of hepatitis attacks the patient’s liver and can, in some cases, lead to liver failure. It has a number of causes, among which include exposure to contaminated water sources. According to health officials in Nevada, 12 people have been sickened by the company’s water and five children were sent to the hospital.
The FDA has resounded its call for help in recalling existing water to prevent it from being sold and the agency asserts that Real Water is fit for neither human nor animal consumption. “The FDA is reiterating that it is crucial that consumers, restaurants, distributors, and retailers do not drink, cook with, sell, or serve ‘Real Water’ alkaline water,” the agency said in a statement. “FDA also advises that this water not be served to pets.”
Investigations into Real Water’s response to the recall have shown a lackluster level of effort. FDA investigators discovered that, in some cases, Real Water hadn’t even notified some of its distributors that there was an ongoing recall of their product. In addition, the company has been reluctant to assist the FDA in ways that would accelerate the rate and effectiveness of the recall and perhaps save consumers a trip to the hospital, or worse.