Bottled mineral water is the beverage with the fastest growing consumption today. This study aimed to evaluate the microbiological and physicochemical quality of major mineral water brands sold in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The physicochemical parameters analyzed were pH, conductivity, and ionic concentration. Microbiological analyses were undertaken for the presence of coliforms, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus spp., heterotrophic bacteria, fungi, and yeasts. The results were compared with the limits recommended by Brazilian legislation. Our results show that there is substantial variation among the chemical compound concentrations printed on the labels and those found by the analysis. For the microbiological analyses, 52% of the samples evaluated showed one or more groups of microorganisms above the permissible limits. These results indicate the sanitary inspection of the establishments responsible for bottling and marketing mineral water should be intensified.

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