9 August 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard


Michael Fisher

The Celtic Pure bottled water company in south Monaghan has moved swiftly to reassure customers and consumers after several batches of its product provided to chain stores had to be recalled last week on a recommendation from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The FSAI carried out an investigation after tests found that the level of arsenic in the water had exceeded legally acceptable levels. A statement from the Corcreagh based company said a mechanical failure on a filtration device was to blame and that the issue is now fully resolved.

The breach came to light following an FSAI product recall notice regarding consignments of water destined for Lidl, Aldi, Dunnes and Applegreen, among other retailers. Celtic Pure provides water for several own- brand products offered by these chains. The affected bottles were removed from the shelves, with health experts telling anyone who felt ill having consumed the water to consult their GP.

In a statement, Celtic Pure said the removal from sale of a limited number of batches was “a precautionary measure only and consumption of the product does not cause any immediate or ongoing risk”. The award- winning company told The Northern Standard that the recall was “the result of a mechanical failure of a filtration device which has been isolated to one of our many springs. The quality team has taken immediate action and removed this device and source (from the production line) and we can confirm that this issue is now fully resolved”. The company which Padraig McEneaney founded at the family farm in 2000 said it operated to the highest standards of health and safety and took the issue very seriously. “Our quality team will continue to operate at the highest standards,” the statement concluded.

On Saturday, the Food Safety Authority stressed that the recall was a precautionary measure, owing to some water products from one well being detected with levels of arsenic (a heavy metal) above the permitted legal limit. The FSAI stated that people should not be alarmed or concerned as the levels detected in the brands of still and sparkling water, whilst above the legal limit,
were not considered to pose any short-term adverse health effects. They said the risk of any long- term health effect was unlikely. As a precautionary measure, consumers were advised not to drink those products implicated in the recall.

Implicated batches: Source: FSA website fsai.ie
Flavoured Water Sparkling water and still water
1.5 litre
Dunnes Stores Lemon & Ginger Flavoured Sparkling Irish Spring Water Sparkling water
1.5 litre
Dunnes Stores Lemon & Lime Flavoured Water Sparkling water and still water
500 ml
Dunnes Stores Strawberry Flavoured Water Sparkling water and still water
500 ml
Dunnes Stores My Family Favourites Irish Spring Water Sparkling water 2 litres Dunnes Stores Blood Orange & Strawberry Flavoured Still Irish Spring Water Still water 1.5 litre
Dunnes Stores My Family Favourites Irish Spring Water Still water 250 ml (kids); 500 ml, 2 litres, 5litre Dunnes Stores Raspberry & Pomegranate Flavoured Still Irish Spring Water Still water 1.5 litre
Itica Still water
500 ml
Lidl Still water
250 ml, 750 ml,
2 litres
Lidl Sports still water
250 ml
Londis Still water
500 ml; 500 ml (sports); 1 litre Macari Still water
500 ml
Mace Still water
500 ml; 500 ml (sports), 1 litre Plane Still water
500 ml; 500 ml (sports)
San Marino Still water 500 ml
Spar Still water
250ml; 500ml + sports; 750ml; 1 litre
Other than the products named by the FSAI, no other batches, including Celtic Pure’s own line of water, were affected.

Issues around the levels of arsenic in water products first emerged on July 27th when BWG, which owns the Spar and Londis businesses, issued a product recall for its own-brand items.

The FSAI then issued a wider recall which they said was part of an ongoing investigation into Celtic Pure being undertaken by the Authority and the HSE. The Health Service Executive said it supported the information and advice given by the FSAI. However, consumers were advised not to drink the water and to contact their GP if they felt unwell having done so.

In a statement Aldi said Celtic Pure had recalled some products “as a precautionary measure, due to the presence of arsenic above normal levels” and that “all of the affected product has been removed from sale at all Aldi Ireland stores.”

“Customers should be advised that they will continue to see Comeragh Spring Water for sale in some of our stores. This is because the product in these stores has come from a different Irish supplier and these products are unaffected. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank customers for their co-operation,” the Aldi statement said.

Lidl said it was recalling some bottled water products sold in selected stores across Ireland. The company advised consumers who had already bought the affected water that they should not drink it and would get a full refund, adding that “consumption of the product does not cause any immediate or on-going risk”.

A full list of the batch numbers of the affected products is available on the website: www.fsai.ie.

Celtic Pure is a family-run business. In addition to its own brand of award-winning water, called Celtic Pure, which is NOT affected and NOT part of the recall, it supplies water to some of the biggest retailers in the country. The company is the official water partner of the Football Association of Ireland. Padraig McEnaney recently changed the company’s corporate structure to be an unlimited company.

The water from the springs below the natural limestone filter beds of rural Monaghan has been used by the McEneaney family for well over 200 years. The company now operates a state-of- the-art bottling plant added three years ago at a cost of €7m close to the original spring which is capable of producing 250 million bottles a year.

The Celtic Pure brand is now the largest independently owned brand and offers a complete range of bottled water to the retail, food service and wholesale sectors to satisfy all tastes for the work, home and play environments. As well as partnering the FAI, the company also sponsors the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon series, the Monaghan GAA senior football team, and Corduff Gaels GFC. It has won four international gold medals for the taste quality and excellence of its still and sparkling water. When the Corcreagh plant opened in 2003 it employed four people. Now with the expansion in 2016 it employs 75 workers.

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