You have to be careful while handling ice the same way you would for any other food item. Ice should be kept away from contaminants, stored cleanly, and handled with good personal hygiene. You would be surprised to know that ice is a major cause of spreading food-borne illnesses.
Ice is very tricky to handle because it can be contaminated with pathogens like salmonella, E. coli, mould, norovirus, and other pathogens, yet look, smell, and taste completely fine. Consuming contaminated ice can cause norovirus infection, typhoid, hepatitis, and food poisoning.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to the safe handling and storage of ice to prevent food-borne illnesses:
- Ice should be made with clean drinking water
- If there is a chance of ice being made from contaminated water sources, throw it all out and make new ice
- Ice trays and other containers used for freezing water should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly between uses
- Do not use ice trays and ice containers for other foods
- Ensure you wash your hands properly before handling ice
- Avoid touching the ice with your bare hands and use a utensil if possible
- Inspect and clean out the inside of the ice machine before using it
- Do not keep raw food, garbage, dirty dishes, or other sources of contamination near the ice machine
- Once you have removed ice from the ice machine for a certain period, do not put it back in
- If you are keeping open ice trays in the freezer, do not keep any other open foods with them as that can cause cross-contamination
- If you want to store ice cubes in the freezer, place them in a sealed container
- Do not handle ice if you are sick or exhibiting symptoms of food-borne illnesses
Are any of these tips new to you, and have you been unknowingly mishandling your ice and storing it in an unsafe manner? Try to keep these things in mind for future encounters with ice to ensure your safety. Proper knowledge and training on food safety can help you prepare, store, and cook your food in a way that keeps you safe. A food safety course can help you in gaining this knowledge. The Australian Institute of Accreditation food safety offers courses to become a food safety supervisor in Queensland that you may benefit from.