Ice is one of those things that most people automatically think of as clean and safe. It's not unusual to see someone with a cooler grab some of the ice that's inside for their drink or to hold up against their neck or forehead on a hot day. However, in recent years, there has been a growing problem with contaminated ice. As a seller, you want your customers to be able to trust the ice you provide. When you receive shipments or orders from new ice wholesalers, you must make sure the bags you get are completely sealed. No air holes, no twist-tie or drawstring openings, no rips along the seam. While it might seem like a lot of work to inspect the bags, many retail establishments receive only moderate orders for bags, meaning it won't take long to ensure they don't have openings.
Dirt and Germ Intrusion
The most obvious reason to avoid any openings is that you don't want germ or dirt intrusion. It doesn't take much to infect someone who consumes that ice. The ice production facility could be the cleanest in the country, but if there's a small hole in the bag, then the cleanliness of the facility will mean nothing.
Of course, then you may wonder, well, if a small hole means the ice could be contaminated, opening up the bag to retrieve the ice would contaminate it all, right? Not really. The problem with an opening in the bag when you get it is that you don't know how long the opening has been there and what the ice might have been exposed to. That's much different from you opening a sealed bag to then place it in another bag.
Manufacturer or Delivery Service Care
Bags of ice that have holes in them indicate that the bagging facility might not have taken the best care with the ice. That could mean the ice has become contaminated in the process. Rips and tears in the bag can indicate rough delivery where the bags weren't stored or packed well. If you're sure your ice supplier takes care of ice safety, start looking at your delivery service. You want an ice delivery service that keeps the bags intact.
Accurate Weight and Cost
Finally, if the bag has a drawstring or twist-tie-closed end, instead of a sealed end, how do you know that end didn't open up in facility storage, resulting in the loss of some ice? You could end up with a bag of ice that isn't as heavy as advertised, meaning you're paying money for missing ice.
If you sell ice to customers for drinks, you must be sure the ice is safe to consume. Buying from a reputable wholesaler, preferably one that follows IPIA guidelines, is a major step, but also ensuring that the bag is simply intact and fully sealed is a big step toward ice safety. Keep these tips in mind when looking for an ice delivery service near you.