The Ministry of Health has continued to expose the names of bottled water companies in Turkey, announcing the names of 114 companies under its latest move to ensure that companies whose products are unhealthy are known to consumers.
In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said its audits found that 8 percent of the samples collected from across the country contained unsafe levels of bacteria. This equaled 114 bottled water companies countrywide. Twenty-one of these companies are in İstanbul, Turkey’s most populous province. The other cities which had the biggest violations included Tekirdağ, Balıkesir, İzmir, Adana, Batman and Elazığ. The samples belonged to some of the country’s best-known water brands — Hayat, Saka, Erikli, Nestle Pure Life and Sırma — as well as lower-end brands. The samples were, however, only taken of water sold in 19-liter carboys and did not include companies that only sold or produced other water items such as small water bottles.
In two consecutive statements released last week, the ministry had exposed 20 water companies whose
water filling stations were found to contain unsafe levels of bacteria. The ministry had warned other water companies to stop compromising on the quality of water due to current high demand as a result of hot summer days. It also underlined that random inspections would continue and that if they found any other companies supplying unsafe water, it would take the necessary steps to protect consumers’ health.
The ministry advises consumers to buy water in carboys from authorized dealers and to ensure the carboys are not scratched or dirty, in addition to containing clear water. These carboys should not be stored in direct sunlight or in low or high temperatures as well as in dusty environments. They should have the same brand name on the cap, safety tag, label and on the body. Consumers should also check the production and expiration dates.
Last week a private TV channel program claimed it had detected bacterial formations in 41 out of 55 carboys from various water companies similar to those seen in human excrement. But it stopped short of naming those companies until the ministry ran an official and more comprehensive analysis of the products.