Bottled water is considered to have an indefinite safety shelf life if it is produced in accordance with CGMP and quality standard regulations and is stored in an unopened, properly sealed container. Therefore, FDA does not require an expiration date for bottled water. However, long-term storage of bottled water may result in aesthetic defects. Bottlers may voluntarily put expiration dates on their labels.
So why does bottled water have an expiration date? A 1987 New Jersey law required all foods sold in New Jersey to show an expiration date of two years or less. Because it would be inefficient to make separately labeled batches of product just for New Jersey, most bottled water producers began stamping their products with a two-year expiration date. A bill repealing the requirement was signed into law in early 2006, but many large retailers require expiration dates for bottled water.