Currently, there is little product safety oversight and inspection of packaged ice manufacturing at the federal or state level. Thus, the International Packaged Ice Association identifies precautions aimed at eliminating potential safety issues that have been found in some packaged ice products. The IPIA today launched an awareness campaign for retailers and consumers regarding packaged ice safety.
“It’s impossible to see microbes with the human eye, but consumers can feel safe if they see the IPIA logo,” said Jane McEwen, executive director of the IPIA. “Taking a minute to make sure that the packaged ice has the IPIA logo can keep families safe this summer.”
The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety of the nation’s food supply. The FDA does not inspect small packaged ice producers that make and package ice directly for the consumer. With as much as 50 percent of all packaged ice sold in the U.S. produced on-premises retail outlets, , consumers are at risk of salmonella, E. Coli, Hepatitis A and other foodborne diseases. The consumers concern should also extend to self-service vending machine units, which are unable to be inspected by federal, state and local inspection professionals.
The IPIA’s education initiative includes the following consumer recommendations.
• Look for the IPIA logo on the ice package.
• Make sure the package has been properly sealed—without drawstring ties.
• Avoid ice from outside vending machines
• The ice should be clear, odorless and tasteless.
• Inspect the ice for any foreign objects or particles.
• The bag must have the manufacturer’
• Remember that when ice in drinks melts, consumers are at risk of foodborne diseases.
• Avoid cross-contamination. Even if contaminated ice in a cooler touches other foods, illness can spread. Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods.
The IPIA will continue to self-regulate the packaged ice industry, following strict guidelines to ensure that the ice it provides is safe. All IPIA members exceed the highest standards for product quality and safety and their plants are regularly inspected. Only packaged ice with the IPIA logo has been certified safe for consumers.
“Ice without the IPIA logo could contain a variety of microbes that can make someone sick,” added McEwen. “As the summer barbecue season kicks off, retailers and consumers should seek out ice products that carry the IPIA logo.”
About The International Packaged Ice Association:
The IPIA was founded in 1917. For 94 years, the non-profit trade association has represented ice producers and suppliers to the trade. A primary part of its mission is to raise awareness amongst consumers and trade partners that Ice is a Food and must be produced and handled to safe standards and best practices. The IPIA represents a group of members who voluntarily subject their plants to the scrutiny of an outside auditing source in the effort to maintain the best practices of food safety.
For additional information about the International Packaged Ice Association, please visit www.PackagedIce.com or call (813) 258-1690.
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