Wandering through Costco the other day, I asked the Pickle Queen if we needed more water as we passed by the endless stacks of bottled water. We have a small refrigerator in the barn, near the garden, with 8 ounce bottles of water in it. We have 8 and 16 ounce bottles of water in the fridge in the basement. We have a few 8 ounce water bottles in the fridge in the kitchen and we have a case or two on the shelves in the ‘fruit cellar’. You can almost guess what her answer was. It’s not like water gets old. Or does it?
Before the folks passed we would have to take empty plastic water and other beverage containers back to a retailer or the recycling center whenever we were visiting them as Iowa, like many other states, has a deposit on all beverage containers. It was a nickel per bottle in Iowa which added up fast. Besides the deposit information stamped on the bottle, there was also an expiration date stamped on it. I never gave it much thought until I got an ‘Are you kidding me?’ look and not a definite answer from the PQ on the having enough water question.
Most water bottles bought at grocery or convenience stores have an expiration date of 2 years from the packaging date stamped on them. Some people believe that the world will come to an end if they use an item past its expiration date. There might be an item or two out there where it’s not advisable to use the product if it’s outdated, but water is not one of them. According to the FDA, unopened water bottles in the United States have an indefinite shelf life. True, it may develop an undesirable taste, but it’s perfectly safe to drink. Remember, we are talking about unopened bottles. Opened bottles may be exposed to and contain bacteria that can make it harmful, so be weary of using them.
My Grand dad’s advice on drinking water with an undesirable taste would have been to add quite a few drops of Wild Turkey, Kentucky Gentleman, White Lightening or whatever was at hand just to be safe.
Keep your fork