Research – Catalan Food Safety Agency – Quality criteria for drinking water used in the food industry


On January 12, 2023 , Royal Decree 3/2023  came into force, establishing the technical-sanitary criteria for the quality of drinking water , its control and supply .

This new Royal Decree represents a new, broad and complex regulatory framework to protect human health from any contamination of drinking water. Establishes the technical-sanitary criteria and the quality control of drinking water throughout the supply chain, from catchment water bodies to the user’s tap, with the aim of guaranteeing that drinking water is healthy and clean.

It also specifically establishes the quality criteria for drinking water used in the food industry (CHAPTER VI Water quality in the food company) :

  • It establishes the quality criteria, as well as the parameters and parametric values ​​of the water used for the manufacture, preparation or treatment of food, as well as for washing materials intended for contact with food.
  • The food company will be responsible for the quality of the water from the point of delivery to the connection or in the case of supply in tanks or mobile tanks, of all the phases that it carries out and that, as such, are described in the self-control systems based on in the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • The operator of the food company must ensure the quality of the drinking water used, through a sampling plan, different types of analysis and controls, which will be included in their self-control systems based on the HACCP principles. 

This regulation partially transposes Directive (EU) 2020/2184 in Spain  ,  relating to the quality of water intended for human consumption  and repeals Royal Decree 140/2003,  which establishes the sanitary criteria for the quality of drinking water .

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