What Is the Shelf Life of Bottled Water?
If you are buying bottled water, you may wonder about the shelf life of bottled water. While it is not necessary for a water bottle to last the test of time, it is a good idea to know when to throw away your bottle of water. However, there are many factors that can affect the lifespan of the product, such as the packaging, transportation, and storage methods.
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The most obvious reason is that the plastic material used to make a bottle can break down and leach into the water. These plastics contain chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA), that can contribute to a variety of health concerns. Plastics can also contaminate the water through exposure to sunlight and heat.
There is no set formula for the shelf life of bottled water, but the industry generally recommends a two-year shelf life. Some producers even use best-by dates, a practice that isn’t legally required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but which some bottlers use to manage inventory.
Although there are no legal regulations that require a specific shelf life for bottled water, the Food and Drug Administration has determined that there are no known limits to the shelf life of bottled water. Bottled water is regulated by the FDA as packaged food, and so it is subject to certain safety and quality standards.
Whether or not a bottled water is a health hazard is another question. Researchers have found that contaminated water can cause a number of health concerns, such as birth defects and metabolic disorders. To minimize the risks of drinking contaminated water, it is recommended that consumers avoid buying bottled water with an expiration date.
A best-by date isn’t a requirement for a bottled water product, and some manufacturers don’t even bother printing them on their bottles. But a best-by date is often a good indicator of how well the product has been stored, as a poorly stored water bottle can cause it to go bad.
Depending on the brand of bottled water, the best-by date might be a mere blip, but it is worth mentioning. During a disaster, a bottled water with a long shelf life can be very useful. In fact, the United States Department of Homeland Security recently recommended that households keep an emergency supply of water on hand for drinking, cooking, and other uses.
While the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require bottled water companies to display an expiration date on their products, many do. They are encouraged to print the most important information on their bottles, such as the water’s recommended shelf life, its uses, and its major benefits. This is to help educate the public about the importance of safe and hygienic practices.
The best-by date on a water bottle is likely a matter of caution and taste. If a bottle has a weird taste or smell, you should probably throw it away. It’s a waste of money and energy to consume a bottle of water that’s past its prime.