Ice Retailers

Ice is Food

Packaged Ice is a Food product and if not produced and handled to strict sanitation standards, it can become contaminated with harmful pathogens that could make one sick. Yes, even though it is frozen water, the freezing does not kill pathogens and in fact, a few can even continue to grow.

It’s Only Ice, Why Should I Care Who I Buy Ice From?

You may consider that Ice is Ice is Ice, such a mundane commodity, but is it really? When shopping for a Packaged Ice Supplier, ask yourself would you risk selling an inferior and even potentially contaminated food product to your customers. Of course you wouldn’t…then demand the proven and safe ice provided by an Ice Producer Member of the IPIA. Ask for a copy of their IPIA PIQCS accreditation certificate or check out our Member listing on this site.

The quality and safety of the packaged ice product produced by members of the International Packaged Ice Association is of utmost priority for the protection of the consumer. IPIA members chose to adhere to strict sanitation standards as defined in our PIQCS (Packaged Ice Quality Control Standards) program. These standards are verified annually in all IPIA member plants by NSF, the National Sanitation Foundation, world-wide leader in food safety solutions and monitoring. These standards are FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Compliant.

Packaged ice when purchased is used not only for consumption, but also for refrigeration which is just as important sanitarily to reduce the risk of cross-contamination with other food products that may come in contact with the ice. As a retailer, you demand and sell top quality bottled water, demand the same of your ‘frozen water’ packaged ice. Most major retailers prefer to sell IPIA packaged ice for their protection and for the protection of their customers.

There’s a reason…Safety, Reliability, Confidence

I don’t sell IPIA member produced Ice.

Well you should. Not only is our Packaged Ice a high margin item for retailers and a top seller in the frozen food category, but the many partner products, i.e. soda, beer, etc. create high extra ring totals.

Thinking of Making and Bagging Your Own Ice?

THE MYTH: You can make and package your own cheaper.

On the surface it might appear in store production will produce spectacular profits. BUT, Did you ever take a moment to think where that statement comes from? – The manufacturers of in-store ice machines. What do they include in their figure? Only the variable costs – water, electricity, bags and some labor. How about the cost of the Ice maker, the storage freezer, the store space, the maintenance on the equipment, personal property taxes, insurance, shrinkage and the cost of money? How many bags must you sell to pay off the equipment purchases and how long does it take? 4 years, 5 years, sometimes 6 years or more. It varies with the number of bags you sell.

THE MYTH: It’s only Frozen water and freezing kills bacteria

Freezing only slows down the rate of bacterial growth. Studies show that ice can be contaminated with E-coli, Salmonella, Staph, Yeasts and molds amongst other pathogens. Ice machines that look like the above because they are not cleaned and sanitized weekly, have great potential to make your customers sick. And then there is the food safety training necessary for employees who might be bagging the ice for sale. Handling of the ice can cause contamination if proper hygiene and sanitary handling procedures are not followed. Recorded outbreaks traced back to infected workers have included Salmonella, hepatitis A and E. coli. Why take this huge risk?

Did you know that most ice machine carbon filters remove the chorine from the public water supply coming into the machine? With no chorine, a disinfectant, in the water freezing into cubes, the wet environment of the ice machine surfaces grow mold, slime and bio-films quickly, all that are potentially harmful if consumed.

ICE PACKAGING?

Stock bags purchased from commercial supply houses do not meet Federal labeling laws. Note the bag on the picture, there is no manufacturers name and contact information and the drawstring is not considered to be ‘sealed tightly’ Plus, since ice packaging is a food contact surface, can you guarantee it is FDA approved food grade? All these issues need to be taken into consideration for the safety of the consumer purchasing this product from you.

Safety, Quality, Confidence in Every Bag!