Canadians all across the country have been complaining for years of store-bought bottled water that tastes like “old socks” and smells of “urine”. Big name grocers like Loblaws and Safeway are being accused of stocking their shelves with the tainted bottled water. Other organizations have been found guilty of ignoring water safety standards altogether.
An operator who worked at Shield Natural Spring Water, located in the Toronto area, failed their safety inspection entirely, according to a report published by CBC. The facility reportedly lacked necessities such as a handwashing station and a bathroom. Whether or not the "filthy" plant has supplied GTA residents with tainted water remains unknown, but the firm reportedly no longer sells bottled water.
A Brampton company also found itself under investigation after at least five formal complaints filed by consumers in Manitoba led Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) investigators to the facility. The company was accused of selling bottles of water that tasted like "old socks".
"We concluded that the unusual odour was from additional moisture on the bottles from rinsing prior to being packaged into cases.… Incidents such as this one are isolated," company spokesperson Shannon Denny stated about the situation, according to CBC.
Despite the alarming taste and odour of the bottled water, the CFIA was able to determine that the water never posed any real danger to the health of Canadian consumers.
A water company In Prince Edward Island was discovered to have high levels of bacteria in its water back in 2015. Despite the reported contamination, bottles that were sold directly to buyers without the help of retail outlets were not recalled. However, a pledge to improve the facilities was made to investigators at the time.
Bottled water has long been criticized for both health and environmental reasons, and if incidents like these can fly under the radar, it may be time to switch to a more environmentally-friendly alternative.