18 Feb 2015
China National Food Safety Standard – Packaged Drinking Water
China’s Department of Food Safety Standard, Risk Surveillance and Assessment, National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) has published new requirements for packaged drinking water products.
National food safety standard GB 19298-2014 – Packaged Drinking Water, was published on 24 December 2014 and will come into effect on 24 May 2015. The standard is applicable to all packaged water products destined for direct consumption, excluding natural mineral water products. GB 19298-2014 will replace GB 19298-2003 – Hygienic Standard of Bottled Water for Drinking and GB 17323-1998 – Bottled Purified Water for Drinking, harmonising China’s regulation of packaged water products.
The standard for natural mineral water will be further revised by national food safety standard GB 8537 – Drinking Natural Mineral Water.
The GB 19298-2014 standard includes labelling requirements (4.1 and 4.2) that will come into effect on 1 January 2016.
There are two main raw water sources for packaged drinking water:
- Public water supply systems
- Non-public (namely surface or ground water) supply systems
There are clear requirements in the new standard that are applicable to packaged water products originating from both of these sources. Labels such as, “this product includes food additive for taste adjustment”, should be placed close to the product name on the label. This requirement applies to additives such as magnesium sulphate, zinc sulphate, calcium chloride, potassium chloride and other additives used during the production process.
To meet the requirements of the new standard, the name given to a packaged drinking water product should be scientifically correct. It is not permissible to name a product by one, or several, ingredients, except for water. The misleading practice of using creative marketing descriptions for aquatic products will be regulated.
The most important change of the standard concerns the requirements for microorganisms. While the product standard has added a requirement on pathogen microorganism Pseudomonas Aeruginosa as well as keeping those on coliform germs. It no longer includes requirements on total bacteria, mould and yeasts count, Staphylococcus Aureus, Salmonella or Shigella.
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 GB 19298-2014