Irish authorities ‘stalled over water contamination claims’

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) was warned around 18 months ago about the extent of bottled water contamination across the country, it has been revealed.

According to a letter obtained by the Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act, the authority was notified that 23% of the water samples tested by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the Dublin Mid-Leinster area were found to be contaminated back in October 2007.

“I feel this warrants an urgent national FSAI review of survey results to date and consideration of appropriate public awareness actions,” the letter read.

However, despite the letter from HSE director of public health Dr Eleanor McNamara to the FSAI warning that some water was found to contain E.coli, coliforms and enterococci, no public health alert was issued in any part of Ireland.

At the same time, it has been revealed that beverage company Britvic called on the FSAI to make available the names of companies behind the contaminated bottled water products, arguing that a failure to do so would unfairly tarnish the industry as a whole.

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