Drinking ice as a vector for gastrointestinal disease
Surveys confirm that ice can be a vector for gastrointestinal disease, its quality reflecting the water from which it was made. High levels of organisms which indicate hygiene failure, as well as faecal contamination and/or the presence of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, protozoa or cryptosporidia have been found. While potable water is the minimum water quality required for ice production, good hygienic practices are needed for the production and handling of ice. Microbiological standards for ice have not yet been agreed in either Europe or in the UK, but the minima desirable are those required of potable water. Ice should not be consumed unless there is confidence in the hygiene of its production.