Nugget of Knowledge: Expiration date and bottled water

New Jersey law made it so bottled water has to have an expiration date

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Most items in your refrigerator, including milk and meat, have an expiration date.

That includes a bottle of water.

Wait, water doesn’t expire, does it? Why would it have an expiration date on it?

Well, you can thank the people of New Jersey.

In 1987, the legislature in New Jersey passed a law that said anything sold or packaged, whether solid or liquid, has to have an expiration date of no more than two years after it’s manufactured.

The bottled water company said, ‘Great, we send water to the other 49 states, with no expiration date, never had to, but now we have to do something special for the people of New Jersey. And that’s expensive.’

What the bottled water company did was decide to put an expiration date on all the water we send everywhere, just to make the New Jersey people happy.

The Food and Drug Administration never said bottled water had to have an expiration date, and the New Jersey legislature finally got around to repealing that 1987 law. By that time, however, it was common practice.

And so everything, even water, has an expiration date.

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