Ice contamination is a serious public health concern. Source water contamination, contaminated ice machines, unsanitized ice scoops, and cross contamination in the handling process are leading causes of packaged ice contamination.
That's why consumers should buy ice that meets the high standards of the IPIA - the only way you can be assured the ice you are buying is safe to consume.
The only way to completely protect your family against this risk of contaminated ice is to make sure you are buying packaged ice manufactured by a member of the IPIA. Consumers can look for the IPIA logo when purchasing packaged ice in member branded packaging and a growing number of retail private label packaging.
The IPIA label is the only way consumers can be assured the ice they are buying is safe to consume. The University of Cal Poly and University of Georgia have conducted studies to compare ice produced and packaged by outside vending machines and on-premises retail establishments to ice produced by manufacturing companies that conform to quality manufacturing standards set by the IPIA. The results clearly show that consumers need to be conscious of the ice they are buying for themselves and their families.
Research Findings: Scientists Find Contamination in Ice Which is Not Produced to Industry Standards
The latest and most comprehensive study to ever look at the safety of packaged ice has been published in California. The study compared packaged ice produced by members of the International Packaged Ice Association to those who manufacture ice without the industry-leading IPIA standards. This study definitively shows that consumers are at risk due to the amount of packaged ice produced by non-IPIA retailers in California that was found to have unsatisfactory levels of contamination.
Pathogen Perils of Adding Ice and Lemon Slices to Your Drinks
Susan Perry details the dangers of contaminated ice in a MinnPost column. "As a study published earlier this year found out, the human handling of ice and lemons can easily cause them to become contaminated with bacteria and other pathogens.Ice has long been known to cause foodborne illnesses. In 1987, for example, contaminated ice served at a football game in Philadelphia led to a four-state outbreak of norovirus in the United States, which left more than 5,000 people ill. And a 1991 cholera epidemic in Latin America, which led to almost 8,000 illnesses and 17 deaths, was traced back to contaminated ice."