Officials of the (FDA) have directed ice manufacturers to use a blue dye in the ice meant for industrial, cooling and storing purposes to distinguish it from edible ice.
“We have been working on this important issue for quite a few months now. We have held a few meetings with all the stakeholders, including ice manufacturers. All of them are completely aware of this decision. It comes into effect from today (March 28). A formal notification will be issued by March 30 in this regards,” Chandrashekhar Salunke, joint commissioner (headquarters), state FDA, said.
The water used for making ice for industrial or storage purposes is not potable. “Since it is not meant for human consumption, the water used to make this ice can be contaminated, containing harmful bacteria. But ice meant for human consumption is made from potable water, thus, safe for human consumption. We have told manufacturers to use bright blue colour in the ice meant for storage or industrial purposes to make it easily identifiable.”
All the parameters applicable to any food item are applicable to ice that is edible. “Hence, if a food business operator, such as hotel, restaurant, sugarcane juice joints or ice candy hawker, is found selling ice which is blue in colour, s/he will have to face strict action, including imprisonment. Again, if the colourless edible ice used for human consumption is found unsafe for human consumption, the operator will face imprisonment ranging from six months to five years,” Salunke said.
SS Desai, joint commissioner (food), FDA, Pune said, “We will ensure strict implementation of this norm in the Pune division.
The consumption of ice shoots up during summer, hence there is need to strengthen the surveillance.” Senior family physician Prakash Mahajan said, “People tend to include ice in all sorts of cold beverages during the summer. If the water or the ice used in these drinks is contaminated, it may lead to all sorts of gastrointestinal diseases, including diarrhoea.”
Source: Times of India