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The Dangers of Ice

This week we will discuss the dangers of eating restaurant ice or any ice for that matter!  Ice handling is part of food safety training.  Without proper ice machine cleaning, your restaurant’s ice maker is at risk from mold, slime, scale, and sediment.

Slime and mold form because ice machines provide a damp and dark environment where they can thrive. Yeast and dust in the air provide these growths with an unlimited supply of food to continue to flourish.

Ice machines are also susceptible to other biological contaminants that are dangerous to customers, like E. Coli, Hepatitis A, and Norwalk Virus. In fact, a 2011 study from the Environmental Protection Agency focused on Las Vegas restaurants found that 72.2 percent of ice was “positive for presumptive coliform bacteria presence.”

Restaurants can clean mold, slime, and other biological contaminants from their ice machine with a few simple steps. A weekly cleaning schedule helps tremendously to keep these containments at bay, but it is not a replacement for a professional ice machine cleaning from a qualified technician. (credits)


Another way eating ice can be harmful is when a person develops Pica, or an unusual craving for chewing on ice.  This can mean you have iron deficiency anemia. 

Compulsive ice chewing can lead to a variety of complications. It may also interfere with your life at school, work, or home. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to find out the reason why you’re craving ice. A simple blood test may help you figure out the cause of your cravings and start treatment. (credits)

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