TAMPA, FL — The International Packaged Ice Association (IPIA) has issued a statement in response to the November 27, 2022 boil water notice in Houston, TX warning the public about the dangers of consuming ice that has been contaminated by unsafe water.
As the notice states, consumers must not only avoid water during the boil water Notice but should also avoid consuming ice — or take proper precautions — until the notice has been lifted. It is also recommended that manufacturers of packaged ice, including those who bag ice within retail environments such as convenience stores, grocery stores, gas stations and vending machines properly clean and sanitize their commercial ice machines that may have been exposed to contaminated water. It is also critical for restaurants to dispose of all ice made during the boil water period and properly clean and sanitize their ice machines on property. Water for ice trays or other drinking purposes should be boiled and cooled prior to use to ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil for two minutes and cooled prior to consumption.
“It is absolutely critical that consumers and businesses who sell ice, packaged or otherwise, take this notice very seriously,” said IPIA Executive Director Maria Maggio. “Our members in this region are going to do their part to ensure that production of packaged ice is sanitary and conforms with IPIA-accredited standards and we encourage everyone to do the same.”
“As the largest producer of packaged ice sold in Texas, Reddy Ice has activated several internal protocols to respond to this situation,” said Reddy Ice CEO Deb Conklin. “Our onsite production machines, as well as those that reside in commercial operations at grocery stores, will be inactive while they are cleaned and sanitized properly until the City of Houston and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality notify us that the water is safe,” Conklin added.
IPIA encourages all consumers to take this boil water alert seriously until the City of Houston has lifted the order. In lieu of ice produced from a commercial machine, IPIA-accredited ice is available for purchase throughout the greater Houston area.