Bottled water recall; E. coli testing expected to increase

BottledWater_blogA new report has found the global market for E. coli testing is expected to reach $2.1 billion by 2022, up from $1.2 billion in 2013. Researchers from the study say this growth will be in part to major federal efforts to combat more foodborne illness in the U.S. via the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Environmental and clinical laboratory testing for E. coli is one area that will see the most growth in the next decade, a recent article states, and is expected to grow at a rate of 6–7% each year.  The article also states that the majority of end-users purchasing environmental testing kits are drinking water suppliers, waste water treatment organizations, and bottled water manufacturers.

This is particularly interesting as a national bottle water recall was recently been announced  after one company issues a voluntary recall of spring water produced at this two Pennsylvania plants from June 10 through June 18. This came after evidence of E. coli bacteria was found at the spring source, although there has been no signs of the actual product being contaminated, nor any illness reported.

There are many types of E. coli bacteria, some of which are not harmful to people and are commonly found in human intestines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, some strains can cause severe sickness including diarrhea, abdominal cramping and pain, as well as nausea and vomiting. E. coli infections can turn deadly for young children, the elderly, or those with an already compromised immune system.

The CDC lists 14 disease outbreaks associated with bottled water between 1971 and 2010; while some instances were traced back to bacteria, others are listed as being caused by cleaning chemicals or an unknown contaminant. For comparison, from 2009 to 2010 the CDC reported 2,231 illnesses related to Salmonella in eggs alone.

The article goes on to say when it comes to preventing foodborne illnesses, use common sense. This includes checking with the manufacturer regularly about product recalls, making sure you don’t have any recalled water sitting around in your pantry, and reporting any suspected contamination to the health department.

Neogen is a leader in developing and marketing test kits that provide food safety solutions, including for E. coli and other foodborne pathogens. For more information, click here.

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