Tampa, Florida (PRWEB) July 21, 2014
Summer is here and before consumers head to the store to purchase packaged ice for your backyard party, the International Packaged Ice Association (IPIA) is recommending consumers pay particular attention this year.
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 against this risk of contaminated ice is to make sure ice is 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.
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.
This study can be read by visiting http://www.safeice.org.
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.”
For more information about this study and other important facts on packaged ice, please visit safeice.org or packagedice.com.
So, as you prepare your next party or outdoor adventure with packaged ice, please look for the IPIA label to ensure you are consuming safe, clean ice.