Bottled water company Real Water suspended production and distribution of its “Real Alkalized Water” brand and issued a voluntary recall of its drinking water bottles of all sizes nationwide. Health officials linked the bottled water brand to numerous people sickened with non-viral hepatitis and asked consumers not to purchase that water brand.
The Southern Nevada Health District and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an investigation after the FDA was alerted to five cases of acute non-viral hepatitis (which causes acute liver failure) in infants and children that occurred in November 2020. All five patients were hospitalized but have since recovered. The FDA said all of the patients had consumed Real Water brand alkaline water.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the Las Vegas-based company, which they accuse of negligence.
“Real Water takes customer safety seriously and promptly issued this recall on March 17, 2021, after being notified of the investigation. The company has ceased production and distribution of the product while the FDA and the company continue their investigations into the possible cause of the problem,” the company said in a statement.
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In a video posted on the bottled water company’s website, founder Brent Jones apologized to those affected by drinking the bottled water and becoming ill.
“I want to personally apologize to all of our customers, and I assure you the lessons learned from this will drive further improvement in the brand,” Jones said.
Real Water is marketed as premium drinking water with beneficial detoxifying properties. It comes in distinctive blue bottles with labels that say it is “alkalized” and “infused with negative ions.”
The recalled products include 1.5 liter, 1 liter, 500 ml, and 1-gallon ready-to-drink bottles. They were distributed throughout the United States by UNFI and KEHE to the natural retail channel, as well as through direct distribution to several retail stores regionally in the Las Vegas, NV area; Northern Arizona; Southern California; Tennessee; Georgia; Chicago; New York; Mississippi and New Mexico. Real Water is also sold on Amazon.com.
Also, 5-gallon bottles for home and office delivery were distributed through direct delivery to homes and offices in the Las Vegas, NV area, California’s central coastal region (north of Los Angeles, CA and south of Santa Barbara, CA); and Phoenix, AZ. Also included in the recall are 4-ounce bottles of Real concentrated water, which are sold on the company’s website with offices in Mesa, AZ, and Henderson, NV.
The company described its products sold in retail stores as a blue rectangular bottle with the name “Real Alkalized Water” printed on the label. The 5-gallon bottles for home and office delivery are blue with white labels.
Distributors were notified of the product recall and ordered to remove the water bottles from store shelves, distribution, and other inventories to ensure they are no longer available for sale or consumption. The company informed home and office delivery customers how to arrange for recalled products to be picked up.
Symptoms of all types of hepatitis, including non-viral hepatitis, are similar and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored or gray stools, joint pain, yellow eyes, and jaundice. Those experiencing these symptoms should contact their physician.
Consumers who may have recalled water bottles should discard them immediately and not drink them. Consumers with questions or who wish to obtain a refund may contact the company at 1-702-310-5437 Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm Pacific Time or by email at [email protected]