IWA Publishing

Microbiological quality of ice and ice machines used in food establishments

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The ice used in the food industry has to be safe and the water used in ice production should have the quality of drinking water. The consumption of contaminated ice directly or indirectly may be a vehicle for transmission of pathogenic bacteria to humans producing outbreaks of gastrointestinal diseases. The objective of this study was to monitor the microbiological quality of ice, the water used in producing ice and the hygienic conditions of ice making machines in various food enterprises. Escherichia coli was detected in seven (6.7%) ice and 23 (21.9%) ice chest samples whereas E. coli was negative in all examined water samples. Psychrophilic bacteria were detected in 83 (79.0%) of 105 ice chest and in 68 (64.7%) of 105 ice samples, whereas Enterococci were detected only in 13 (12.4%) ice samples. Coliforms were detected in 13 (12.4%) water, 71 (67.6%) ice chest and 54 (51.4%) ice samples. In order to improve the microbiological quality of ice, the maintenance, cleaning and disinfecting of ice machines should be carried out effectively and periodically. Also, high quality water should be used for ice production.

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