Troubled waters

Bisleri asked to stop production and supply from two Mumbai units

Published: Tuesday 30 November 2004

The safety of the Bisleri bottled water brand is once again in question. On October 25, 2004, the Maharashtra Food and Drug administration (FDA) ordered Parle Bisleri, the brand's manufacturer, to immediately stop production at its two Mumbai units. The reason cited was non-compliance with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms. The company was asked not to release the product in the market till further orders.

"The company has failed to conduct the required microbiological tests as a quarantine procedure, as per BIS norms," said FDA commissioner A Ramakrishnan. BIS guidelines, which are mandatory conditions to use its ISI certification, necessitate the storage of bottled water for five days before it is checked for microbial contamination and sent to the market. But Parle Bisleri was not doing this. "We are trying to make arrangements for storage space for manufactured bottles, but that will take some time," said Sanjay Nair, general manager of the company's Andheri unit. Soon after the order was issued, Parle Bisleri managed to get a fresh permission from BIS to continue with its ISI certification but the FDA maintained its directive. It also asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the local licensing authority, not to allow the production and sale of Bisleri till the BIS norms are met.

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