FSSAI has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standard and Food Additives) Amendment Regulation related to Drinking Water offered or sold through water vending machine, in the Official Gazette. The copies of the Gazette were made available to the public on 21 May 2018 and any objections and suggestions received were considered by the FSSAI before making these amendments in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. These regulations may be called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives)First Amendment Regulations, 2019. They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
In the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, in regulation 2.10 BEVERAGES, (Other than Dairy and Fruits & Vegetables based) 2.10, the following standards have been added for the category related to drinking water (purified).
‘2.10.9 Drinking Water (Purified)
Drinking water (purified) means water, other than packaged drinking water and natural mineral water which is offered or sold through a water vending machine.
Drinking water (purified) shall be clear without any sediments, suspended particles and extraneous matter which shall also comply with the requirements of Indian Standards, IS 10500.
Explanation: – For the purposes of this sub-regulation, “water vending machine” means decentralized water purification systems that purify and dispense waters and does not include installation intended for use of water for captive consumption.’
About popularity of water vending machines
Consumer perception that tap drinking water quality might not be good has led to a demand for vending machines. Consumers are willing to pay the price if they perceive that drinking water from vending machines is of high quality. The ability of vending machines to purify and dispense water makes them ideal areas that have a high footfall like railways stations, bus depots, shopping malls etc. Consumers also believe that the water from vending machines is safe to drink because it is filtered and hygienic. However, in order to ensure that the water from vending machines remains pure, routine maintenance of the machine as well as regular testing of the water quality will help to retain consumer confidence that it is indeed pure and safe to consume.