FDA Updates Fiji Recall, Downgraded To Class 3

The Food and Drug Administration has announced an update to a March recall of more than 70,000 cases of Fiji artesian spring water over concerns that a manganese contamination could have caused severe health consequences or death. During the week of May 20, the FDA adjusted its concern to a Class III, which dictated that there is no relative risk of adverse health consequences.

As Food and Wine reported, the initial recall only affected water sold on Amazon between Feb. 1, 2024, and Mar. 3, 2024. The company voluntarily recalled the water without any prompting from the FDA. The water was tested and confirmed to contain manganese as well as three strains of bacteria. Although the initial recall only affected around 70,000 cases, the FDA expanded that recall to encompass 1.9 million bottles of water.

On Twitter/X, the company maintained that the majority of water bottles the company shipped out remain safe to drink. 

“Fiji Water remains safe to buy and consume,” the company wrote. “This is a quality issue only affecting the specific lots sold on Amazon.com.” 

Fiji made another post in an attempt to clarify a statement from Amazon regarding the recall. 

They wrote, “The notice sent by Amazon does not accurately reflect the issue. We were notified of a quality issue with complaints of discoloration in select products with PRD dates of Nov. 11, 12, 13, 2023, and Nov. 24, 25, 2023,”

Fiji continued, saying that the email consumers received from Amazon “does not accurately reflect“ the problem. In another post, the company wrote, “We have no reason to believe there is a health or safety issue. We have been diligently looking into this and are working with a third-party lab for this quality issue.”

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, manganese is described as: “(a) naturally occurring substance found in many types of rocks and soil.”

According to the FDA, tap and bottled water contain a negligible amount of the substance, but the maximum amount allowed by the agency is 0.05 mg/L.

Melissa England, a spokeswoman for The Wonderful Company, which represents Fiji, indicated to KSNT on May 25 that the majority of contaminated bottles have already been collected. England told the outlet, “The FDA classification […] relates to a matter from several months ago that never posed any health or safety risk. It affected products that were sold through only one distributor, and 99% of all those affected bottles were reclaimed, with the remainder in warehouses to be returned. There is no higher priority to us than the safety and quality of Fiji Water. There is no health or safety risk posed by manganese or bacteria in the recalled lots of Fiji. Moreover, Fiji Water conducts regular testing to ensure consumers enjoy the soft, smooth taste of Fiji Water that they expect and love.”

The details of the recalled water are as follows: Case UPC Code –  6 32565 00004 3, Bottle UPC Code – 6 32565 00001 2, Production dates – Nov. 11, 2023; Nov. 12, 2023; Nov. 13, 2023; Nov. 24, 2023 and Nov. 25, 2023.

Anyone who has questions about the Fiji recall is encouraged to call 1-866-406-4149.

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