26 Oct 2005
The Food Standards Agency is advising consumers to be aware of the fraudulent sale of Zam Zam water that may pose a food safety risk. A brand of Zam Zam formally sampled by the London Borough of Westminster has been found to contain almost three times the permitted level of arsenic, which could contribute to increasing people’s risk of cancer. The local authority has taken action to prevent further sale of the product from the outlet. In addition they have contacted the importer of the water to ensure that they cease to import the product. No other outlets are known to have stocked this product.
Other brands of Zam Zam water are thought to be on sale in the UK and could be similarly contaminated. As genuine Zam Zam water cannot be legally exported from Saudi Arabia for commercial sale, any product found in the shops would have an uncertain provenance and possible safety risk. The FSA is therefore advising people not to buy or drink commercially available brands of Zam Zam water and to inform their Local Authority Environmental Health or Trading Standards Department if they come across Zam Zam water on sale.
The Chair of the MCB’s Health & Medical Committee, Dr Shuja Shafi notes `Muslims in Britain appreciate the efforts of the FSA in this investigation and the MCB will take the necessary steps to alert the community of the hazard’. The MCB also appreciates the role played by Dr Yunus Teinaz, Senior Environment Health Officer, London Borough of Haringey and Health, for his efforts in this regard.