Does water have an expiration date? This question came to my mind as I am fond of purchasing bottled water, dumping it out, and then refilling the bottle with hot water and then tossing the refilled bottle in my car or “bag purse” (a grocery sack I use for a purse), and then forgetting about it for months. Often, I will find one of my bottles of water in the car after who knows how long, and will drink greedily just because there is no other beverage available. So, it begs the question, does water expire? And if so, is it still safe to drink way old bottled water, whether it be a non-opened bottled water, or a refilled one you poured yourself?
The Food and Drug Administration considers bottled water to never expire. They claim that bottled water has an “indefinite shelf life”. Most likely the reason bottled water comes with a “best by” or “use by” date is that over time the plastic bottle can decompose a bit into the water, changing the flavor of the water itself. Also, bottled water manufacturers want to make sure drink their water fresh, so they suggest drinking it by a certain date for the best flavor. But the FDA doesn’t give an official life to water.
But what about water you pour yourself into bottles, or a glass of water sitting on your counter for days? Is it safe to drink? Does your own water bottling endeavors lead to an expiration or “spoiling” of water? Tap water is affected eventually the same way bottled water is- eventually the plastic taste gets into the water and makes it unfavorable to drink. Likewise, drinking tap water left in a glass on the counter will taste like dirt and debris floating in the air. The FDA finds no substantial evidence that drinking old bottled water is a danger to ones health, but perhaps unless you enjoy the taste of plastic, you be the judge as to whether or not your water “tastes” expired. Technically though, water has no expiration date at all.