February 22, 2023

How Safe is the Water in a Standard Bag of Ice?

Summer is coming around the corner. You can expect more trips to the beach, picnics, going on vacations, and attending barbeque parties. What’s one of the most common items that people bring to these outdoor events? A packaged bag of ice that keeps their beverages refreshed and their food chilled to the right temperature. A bag of ice may seem pure and clean at glance and consumed. However, it can contain harmful bacteria and chemicals if not properly handled or filtered.

What Are The Risks?

Although the FDA classifies ice as food and has its own set of guidelines for packaged ice, which are not heavily enforced as strictly as other foods and beverages. This makes it easy for ice producers to add whatever they want to packaged ice and develop risks such as:

  • Chemicals and Harmful Bacteria

It might seem hard to believe that bagged ice isn’t always sterile because of its process of undergoing freezing temperatures that make it hard for any living organisms to survive. Based on studies, “19 percent of 156 bagged ice were contaminated with bacteria, and 56 percent of those bagged ice were contaminated with fungus and yeast.” The causes of bacteria appearing in ice is not only due to the lack of sanitary precautions when handling ice but also have to do with what kind of water ice manufacturers use to produce packaged ice. 

  • Tap Water

Small ice producers, like those in retail stores, can use tap water to produce their bagged ice. It contains variations of minerals and organisms. However, water quality levels usually change depending on the location where ice producers are getting their water, therefore, tap water is not as highly purified as other types of water used to make bagged ice. An ice manufacturer that produces its ice with tap water will have a higher chance of bacteria being present in its bagged ice. 

Best Types of Water For Bagged Ice

Luckily, there are other water alternatives for bagged ice that are safe to consume and use to refresh your drinks such as:

  • Spring Water

A type of water that comes from underground in an aquifer that sits at the earth’s natural water table. Its filtration process is naturally done by going through natural filters like sandstone and clay. The FDA also requires the spring water to go through a filtration process before it is sold to consumers. Typically, you will see larger ice manufacturers that specialize in spring water selling spring water-made bagged ice. 

  • Purified Water

Another type of water that’s filtered to remove a variety of impurities like chemicals, toxins, and harmful bacteria that would be found in tap water. There are different types of water filtration treatments that remove different variations of impurities and bacteria from the water. Some of these treatments include carbon filters, ion exchange filters, reverse osmosis filters, and the five-stage filtration system. This type of water is usually the best for packaged ice.

Consider Ice Vending Machines For Your Bagged Ice

When it comes down to being sure that the water used to make your bag of ice is safe to consume, ice vending machines make great sources to grab your clean ice bags. Ice vending machines with a good filtration process are mostly self-service, which is less likely to become contaminated.With Everest Ice and Water Systems, we provide many solutions for clean purified water for ice use. Our ice vending machines perform with a five-stage filtration system that operates by removing any sediment larger than half a micron in size and filters the water through back-to-back solid block carbon filters to remove chlorine, contaminants, and odor. We also use advanced UV light that sterilizes the water. Learn more about the advanced filtration treatments we offer.

Everest Ice and Water vending machine
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