Are You Buying Contaminated Packaged Ice for Your Family?

10:47 27 June in Press Releases
0 Comments

New University Study says you just may be buying contaminated ice

July 11, 2014, Tampa, Florida – Summer is here and before you head to the store to purchase packaged ice for your backyard party or for your beach cooler, the International Packaged Ice Association (IPIA) is recommending you pay particular attention this year to the type of packaged ice you purchase for your family.

Recent studies have shown that ice can become contaminated with serious foodborne bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. 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. In a study conducted by the University of Georgia in 2013, researchers found that out of the millions of pounds of packaged ice produced by retailers and vending machines, a lot of this ice could put consumers at risk.

So what should consumers look for when they are buying packaged ice? Here are a few important tips to purchasing clean, safe ice:

  1. The package of ice must carry the IPIA logo
  2. Ice must be clear in color as well as odorless and tasteless
  3. The bag must be properly closed and secure (no drawstring ties)
  4. The bag must have the manufacturer’s name, address and phone number
  5. The bag must be free of any foreign objects
  6. The bag must have a product code and/or a sell by date

University of Georgia researchers examined the microbiological quality of packaged ice produced and bagged at retail locations—convenience stores, liquor stores, fast-food restaurants and gas stations, plus ice produced at self-serve vending machines—and compared those results with ice produced by manufacturers that comply with the International Packaged Ice Association’s (IPIA) Packaged Ice Quality Control Standards (PIQCS). It is apparent from the study results that sanitary practices in producing and packaging ice are not always followed by many retailers and vending machines. The University of Georgia study concludes with the statement:

“Consumers who buy this ice (non-IPIA) should also be educated about the risk they take by purchasing this product and ways they can also prevent cross-contamination in their homes.”

Ice produced without industry sanitation standards puts consumers at risk – A new study shows that over 25 percent of packaged ice from outdoor ice vending machines and retail producers fails to meet basic sanitation standards.

January 27, 2014, Tampa, FL – In the most comprehensive and important study to ever look at the safety of packaged ice, researchers from the University of Georgia conclude that out of the millions of pounds of packaged ice produced by retailers and vending machines, a lot of this ice could put the consumer at risk.

University of Georgia researchers examined the microbiological quality of packaged ice produced and bagged at retail locations—convenience stores, liquor stores, fast-food restaurants and gas stations, plus ice produced at self-serve vending machines—and compared those results with ice produced by manufacturers that comply with the International Packaged Ice Association’s (IPIA) Packaged Ice Quality Control Standards (PIQCS). It is apparent from the study results that sanitary practices in producing and packaging ice are not always followed by many retailers and vending machines. The University of Georgia study concludes with the statement:

“Overall, this study indicates a need for more sanitary practices in the packaging of ice on the premises of retail locations and for cleaner vending machines.”

While researchers found that ice produced under the PIQCS standards was void of harmful bacteria, over 25 percent of the ice samples from retail store producers and self-serve vending machines showed unsatisfactory levels of contamination. Most alarmingly, samples including salmonella and E.Coli contamination. According to the report:

“Consumers who buy this ice (non-IPIA) should also be educated about the risk they take by purchasing this product and ways they can also prevent cross-contamination in their homes.” The researchers continued, “No coliforms or E. Coli were detected in the ice from manufacturing plants (IPIA) which indicates good sanitary, hygienic practices may have been in place.”

In response to the study, Jane McEwen, IPIA Executive Director stated,

“We believe the results of the UGA study are groundbreaking. The study results demonstrate that the quality of the packaged ice produced at retail locations and self-serve vending machines is suspect and, where contamination was found, could indicate a contaminated water source, mold and slime in the ice machine, unsanitized ice scoops, unsanitary packaging process or unhygienic staff handling. We have been concerned about these unsanitary conditions for a long time and now the study results affirm it.” McEwen continued, “The flip-side of the study shows that ice manufactured to IPIA sanitary standards is clean and safe to consume.”
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.