A major airline is apologizing after one of its passengers took a sip from one of the free bottles of water aboard a flight last summer – and found herself drinking grease instead.
Passenger Sian Gani told CTV News she put the bottle to her lips during a Japan Airlines flight from Jakarta to Toyko, and suddenly tasted what she described as “gasoline.”
Bottled water is not necessarily the safe choice, said Vancouver Coastal Health’s water specialist, Len Clarkson.
He said E. coli can grow in bottles as well in certain circumstances. Other contaminants must enter the bottles from outside, usually through the bottling process.
“Bottles can become contaminated through the manufacturing process, or the filling process, with cleaners or lubricants, or foreign material,” he said.
One famous example is a wide recall issued by Perrier in 1990 after its bottles became contaminated with benzene, a natural component of crude oil and a carcinogen.
In 2011, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found some 13 per cent of bottles had bromate, a possible carcinogen, and 2 per cent had bromate that exceeded Canadian drinking water standards.
Clarkson said unlike bottles, tap water is continually tested, and is much less likely to contain contaminants.
“We prefer to use tap water versus bottled water,” he said.