Since ice is frozen water, it can carry water-borne diseases. Freezing does
not kill many waterborne pathogens; low temperatures even favor the longevity of
some microorganisms. This, coupled with the frequent use of ice in food and drinks,
makes it a vehicle for transmitting disease. However, because of controls during the
manufacturing process, there are only a few cases where ice has been proven to
CONTROLS AGAINST HEALTH HAZARDS
Basic controls against the contamination of ice were presented in Section I of
this lesson. The critical points will be reviewed in this paragraph.
a. Water Quality. The quality of the ice depends largely on the
bacteriological and chemical condition of the water used.
(1) It may be necessary to soften the water to prevent the ice from
having an undesirable color.
(2) Water used to manufacture ice should meet the chemical, physical,
and bacteriological standards established in TB MED 576 as well as AR 40-5.
(3) Cross-connections between potable and non-potable water systems
are not permitted. This includes submerged hose nozzles.
(4) A sanitary inspection should include water and ice samples for
bacteriological analysis. The inspector should collect the samples at appropriate
points within the plant; sampling points include water from the can filler, the core
filler, the dip tank (thawing water) and the ice block. The instruments used in
collecting an ice sample are a wide mouth jar that is sterile and capable of holding
100-ml of sample water, a sterile ice pick, and sterile tongs. An alcohol swab can be
used to sterilize the ice pick and the tongs. Other sterilizing agents, such as chlorine
may also be used. Use the ice pick to chip away ice from both the outside and the
inside layers. Place the chips into the wide mouth jar. Be sure to avoid touching the
ice. You may use the sterile tongs to insert the ice into the jar.
(5) In some cases, local and state health authorities require ice plants to
obtain a certificate of water potability. These authorities may also require water
samples to be taken. It is a good idea to review records pertaining to water quality
during the inspection.
(6) Although this is not specified in AR 40-5, ice plants should have
adequate handwashing and toilet facilities. These facilities are to be kept clean and
in good repair.