BBC News released a scathing report today on the quality of ice from three of the United Kingdom’s biggest coffee chains. The BBC News report found that ice from the chains found considerable fecal contamination – in fact 13 of the 30 samples (43%) found the contamination in the ice.
Unfortunately, this study isn’t all that surprising to the IPIA. Indeed, a 2013 study and a 2015 study, both published in the Journal for Food Protection found that packaged ice sold in many of the retail locations sampled had high potentially dangerous Coliform bacteria counts and even E. coli and salmonella. These two studies, combined with the recent BBC News report confirm this is, in fact, a worldwide problem.
All ice is not subject to contamination. And the IPIA recommends that consumers purchase packaged ice stamped with the Association’s ‘Ice is Food’ logo, which assures that the ice producer is inspected to rigorous quality and sanitation standards. Packaged ice products sold without the ‘Ice is Food’ logo are most likely not subject to these consumer protections.
So what should consumers look for when they are buying packaged ice? Here are a few important tips to purchasing clean, safe ice: