Valuation of Hygienic Security At The Packaged Water During a
Period of One Year (2006)
Lindita Molla 1, Donika Bocari 1, Gezim Bocari 2, Lindita Tafaj 1
1 Institute of Public Health, Albania
2 Faculty of Medicine, Albania
One of the most used drinking water during the last few years in Albania, had been the packaged
one. This study is based on the evaluation of the packaged water in some enterprises of water
production in Albania during a period of three months (2006). We have investigated the drinking
water circle from its natural source up to the consumer, for the estimation of microbiological
pollution, and the chemical examination for 10 parameters. The evaluation of the HACCP during
the water production in the enterprise was estimated also. Before bottling, the single treatment
has been done, was the filtration of water through the bacteriological filters and disinfecting by
UV. Four bacteriological parameters are controlled with membrane filtering methods (Total
Coliforms, E. coli, Fecal streptococci, Sulfito-reducting microorganisms, probably Clostridium
perfringens. The highest bacteriological contamination (E. Coli in 90 % and S. Fecal in 10 % of
samples) were found in the water bottled in 6 l, the mean bacteriological contamination (E. Coli in
25 % and S. Fecal in 0 % of samples) was found in the water bottled in 0.5 l, and the low
bacteriological contamination (E. Coli in 20 % and S. Fecal in 0 % of samples) was found in the
water bottled in 1.5 l, This bacteriological contamination originates from the lack of HACCP
(Hazard Critical Control Point System) and the pour conditions of hygiene and sanitation.
Key words: Packaged water, E. Coli, contamination, HACCP
Water is one of the most important products in human’s life, not only for the execution of its vital
activity but also for its consumption as a table product. For the packaged water to be consumed
by people, water must fulfill a number of hygienic sanitary requirements in the physical- chemical
indexes, toxicological and bacteriological as well (I). These qualities should be fulfilled from the
very resource where water runs out to be packed as well as during its packaging in the factory by
applying the following hygienic sanitary requirements and conditions (II) such as:
• Water quality that is going to be used for packaging
• Hygienic sanitary conditions of the water resource
• Hygienic sanitary conditions of the pipelines
• Water deposit tanks before flowing into the plant
• Packaging and production technology
• Hygienic sanitary in the place of production
• Hygiene of personnel
• Storage, transporting and marketing conditions (III)
Since 1994 a wide variety of modern technologies have been broadly developed not only for the
production of food products but also for the packaged water used as a daily product. By the
development of this technology, it is thought to eliminate all the hazards of different kinds that
negatively influence to the consumers’ health (IV). In order to evaluate the quality of the
packaged water, the following study has been accomplished.
The evaluation of the quality and the hygienic safety of the packaged waters of national
BALWOIS 2010 - Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia - 25, 29 May 2010 1
Material and method
The investigation was carried out during the summer of 2004. The sampling of imbottled water
was done in 10 enterprises. 78 samples of different sizes 0.5, 1.5 and 6 l of plastic bottles were
taken in total and 8 samples have been taken randomly (V) for each enterprise.
Before taking the water samples, the hygienic sanitary inspection of the production conditions is
performed in each enterprise. There are inspected the technology of production, hygienic sanitary
conditions of the personnel, the packaging and storing conditions (VI) of ready-for trade product.
The samples were taken from the warehouses of the enterprises.
Water samples are transported according to the standards and analyzed not more than 2 days
after sampling (VII).
In the tested samples the bacteriological indicators are defined (VIII) Total Coliforme (TC), Fecal
Coliforme (FC), Fecal Streptococcus (FS) in 250 milliliter water with membrane filtration method
and sulfite reducing microorganisms, probably Cl. Perfringens, in 100 ml water with multiple pipes
The results of bacteriological indexes analyzed are shown in the following table.
Table 1. Method used for the determination of biological indexes
Nr Bacteriologic indexes Method Norms (IX)
1 Total Coliforme (TC) MF 0 /250 ml
2 Faecal Coliforme (FC) MF 0 /250 ml
3 Faekal Strepoccocci (FS) MF 0 /250 ml
4 Cl. Perfingens MPN 0 /100 ml
Table 2. Number and type of samples
Nr Type of products Size of package Number of samples
1 Natural mineral water 6l 18
2 Natural mineral water 1.5 l 18
3 Natural mineral water 0.5 l 17
4 Sparkling natural water 1.5 l 13
5 Sparkling natural water 0.5 l 12
Table 3. Percentage of contaminated samples
No Type of samples T.Colif. E.Coli F.Strep. Cl. perfring
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1 Mineral natural water 6 l 90 79 10 0
2 Mineral natural water 1.5 l 78 20 0 0
3 Mineral natural water 0.5 l 65 25 0 0
4 Sparkling water 1.5 l 20 0 0 0
5 Sparkling water 0.5 l 15 0 0 0
Graphic 1. Percentage of contamination with regard to indexes and type of package for natural
Percentage of contamination mineral natural w ater according to the package
Cont. in %
0 1 Mineral natural w ater 6 l
T.Colif. E.Coli F.Strep. Cl. perfring 2 Mineral natural w ater 1.5 l
Type of package 3 Mineral natural w ater 0.5 l
Graphic 2. Percentage of contamination with regard to indexes and type of package for sparkling
Percentage of contamination of sparkling w ater according to the package
Cont. in % 10
T.Colif. E.Coli F.Strep. Cl. perf ring
4 Sparkling w ater 1.5 l
5 Sparkling w ater 0.5 l
The results are an indication of a high contamination of the samples especially those of greater
sizes (6 liter bottles) and notably with Total Coliform that amounts 90 % of the samples, E. Coli 79
% and Fecal. Streptococcus 10 %, while those of 1.5 liter are found to be 78 % contaminated
with Total. Coliform and 20 % with E. Coli respectively.
The contamination seem to be lower in small size imbottled water samples (0.5 liter) where are
found 65 % and 25 % respectively contaminated with Total Coliform and E. Coli., meanwhile the
sparkling natural mineral water results contaminated in 20 % (1.5 l) of samples and 15 % (0.5 l)
with Total. Coliform.
The hard situation of the contamination is created due to some reasons that we think are the
reflection of bad hygienic practices in the production process.
• During the inspection of the enterprises we found the lack of closed cycle in most of
BALWOIS 2010 - Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia - 25, 29 May 2010 3
• The packaging was bought abroad and the half automatic closing of the bottles does not
guarantee the sterility of the product.
• There was no special line for cleaning the packaging.
• The missing of the necessary filters to guarantee the water’s purity.
• In some of the factories the buildings did not fulfill the hygienic sanitary conditions (floors,
• The absence of the appropriate warehouses to store the final product in the adequate
conditions in all tested factories.
• In 80 % of the factories, autocontrol system was absent, they hadn’t even the lab for the
control of the quality and safety of the water according to the national legislation.
• The working personnel hadn’t good knowledge on GHP (good hygiene practice) (X)
• In these circumstances the danger of the infections and food borne disease is present. In
2000, the incidence of the food borne disease was 55.9 for 100.000 inhabitants and in
2004 it was 87.8 for 100.00 inhabitants (XI), where one of the important factors might be
the imbottled water.
The observation data and the microbiological indexes reveal the low level of the hygienic sanitary
conditions of the production, packaging, (treatment of the packaging) and storage of imbottled
water during the year 2004 in some enterprises of water packaging and the lack of food safety
In order to ensure a highly hygienic quality of the packaged water, it is necessary in all the
production enterprises to improve their hygienic sanitary conditions, to put appropriate filters, to
insure a pure bacteriological product and the autocontrol system should be applied by means of
the establishment of the HACCP system, according to the standards of the EU and World Health
Organization (Codex Alimentarius).
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