Every so often we run stories from our colleagues in the Council that aren’t necessarily related to the environment or recycling. This week we are highlighting an issue from our Food Safety Team.
Have you ever wondered whether the ice in your drink is safe to consume or where it came from? If not, maybe its about time you did!
Lewisham Food Safety Team have recently carried out ice sampling from a range of businesses including, pubs, clubs, hotels, restaurants, takeaways and shops that use ice for display purposes such as fishmongers. The results are in!
There are many reasons why ice can become contaminated;
a) contaminated water
b) bar staff using their hands to put ice in your drink
c) dirty ice machines
d) dirty ice scoops
e) poor personal hygiene & inadequate disinfection
What did we find?
Over 30% of samples taken from premises was found to be contaminated with high levels of Coliforms and one sample tested positive for E.coli .
Coliforms are a broad class of bacteria found in our environment, and is found in human and animal faeces. The presence of coliform bacteria in drinking water may indicate the possible presence of harmful, disease-causing organisms. Consuming contaminated food and ice can result in gastrointestinal illness, resulting in diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and in the worst cases, renal failure and neurological complications.
What action did we take?
Unsatisfactory premises were targeted for follow up action. The Food Safety Team has worked with businesses to educate them in improved cleaning and disinfection procedures. Re-testing of the ice will be continued and enforcement action will be taken against those premises that fail to improve.
A free fact sheet is available to businesses and can be obtained through contacting the Food Safety Team 0208 314 2082.