FRANCE—Nestlé, the renowned food and beverage company, has temporarily suspended a well in France that supplies water to its Perrier bottled water brand.

The decision comes in the wake of contamination concerns following a period of heavy rainfall at the Vergèze site in the Gard region of southern France.

The company detected a deviation in water quality, prompting the disposal of several batches of Perrier water. However, Nestlé assured consumers that all products delivered to customers and available on shelves remain safe for consumption. To address the issue, Nestlé has implemented a strengthened testing protocol in collaboration with French authorities.

Reports indicate that fecal bacteria were found in the affected well, raising alarms about water quality and safety. The Vergèze site is one of seven water wells owned by Nestlé in the region, underscoring the significance of the situation.

This development follows previous scrutiny from France’s safety watchdog, ANSES, regarding Nestlé’s bottled water quality. ANSES expressed concerns about the variability of contamination and the vulnerability of these waters, prompting further investigations.

In response to the ongoing investigation, Nestlé is facing a parliamentary inquiry into its water treatment practices in France. This inquiry aims to evaluate the practices of bottled water manufacturers and assess the state’s responsibilities in regulating their activities and managing associated health risks.

Earlier instances of regulatory breaches by Nestlé in France have drawn attention to its water treatment processes. Reports suggest the company used disinfectants not permitted under French law for products labeled as ‘spring’ or ‘mineral’ water.

Nestlé has defended its practices, citing microfiltration methods at its water sites to address contamination concerns.

Furthermore, Nestlé’s Perrier brand has encountered legal challenges in the United States, with allegations of mislabeling as mineral water prompting a lawsuit in March.

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