April 11, 2024

Real Water Recall is a Real Mess

Real Water Inc. recalled all of its alkaline water products last week after non-viral hepatitis illnesses including five cases of liver failure were associated with them. But this week some retailers are still selling the products, the company is still marketing them, key Real Water employees have gone missing, and the FDA says the company’s refusal to cooperate has hamstrung its investigation of the outbreak. In short, Real Water’s recall is a real mess.

Don’t drink, cook with, sell, or serve “Real Water” alkaline water

While the recall has been muddled, the public health message about Real Water products has been clear. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have both issued advisories warning consumers, restaurants, distributors, and retailers should not drink, cook with, sell, or serve Real Water products as non-viral hepatitis poses a serious health risk. If you have them at home, don’t consume them. If you find them at a store or available online, don’t buy them.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It is most often associated with a viral infection. But toxins from alcohol, medications, or even herbal and dietary supplements can also cause the liver to become inflamed and, in some cases, cease to function.
Real Water Hepatitis Recall

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water, or alkalized water, is water that has been altered to have a higher pH than regular drinking water which has a neutral pH of 7. Companies that make alkalized water products extol their health benefits but there isn’t scientific evidence to support these claims.

On March 24, Real Water issued a recall for all of its products, said it had notified its distributors and had ceased production of the product. But yesterday the FDA, which is trying to audit the recall despite the company’s refusal to cooperate, said it had identified “a number” of distributors that the company had not contacted directly about the recall, that the products are still being sold online and that Real Water is still promoting them on social media.

The FDA has twice issued Real Water a formal Demand for Records under section 414 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act which would allow the agency to see records pertaining to manufacturing, materials, inventory, distribution, inventory, testing, complaints, and more. Until the company complies, it will remain unclear which retailers are involved and how or if they were notified.

So far, Costco, BI-LO and Whole Foods have all posted recall information on their websites. Publix posted, but now appears to have removed, recall information from its website. And websites for others stores that carry the products simply say they are out of stock.

Key Real Water Employees Have Gone Missing

The homepage of Real Water’s website says is “down for maintenance” but provides links to the recall, two water tests and a YouTube video from Real Water CEO, majority owner and founder Brent Jones.

The website isn’t the only thing that has recently disappeared from Real Water. In a hearing on Monday, Charles LoBello, an attorney for Real Water, said he had been unable to locate the company’s plant manager and lead technician, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. LoBello asked the judge for a two-week extension so he could try and find them.



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