ICEMASTERS on Dirty Dining

Drinking in South Florida can be hazardous to your health

Consuming ‘slime’ can cause diarrhea, vomiting, food poisoning

By Jeff Weinsier – Investigative Reporter

It’s easy to overlook the risks associated with ice machines, since we don’t tend to think of ice as food. The FDA, however, does define ice as food. Contaminated ice can cause foodborne illnesses just as easily as contaminated food. Contaminants can be introduced by airborne particles, contaminated water supply, dirty utensils, and especially improper ice handling. Numerous pathogens have been identified in contaminated ice, particularly from ice making equipment. These pathogens have included: Norovirus, Salmonella, E. coli, Legionella, Hepatitis A, mold, cholera, Shigella and mycobacterium. Contaminated ice can contain these pathogens and still look, smell and taste just fine.