Mould was visible in ice cubes

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ALL four premises sampled by South Holland environmental health officers failed at least one hygiene test when preparing ice for drinks.

Bacteria was found in the ice or on the equipment – and in one case mould was visible in both the ice cubes and the ice machine.

Follow up visits were carried out at each of the premises with re-sampling where necessary.

Environmental health officers are now warning residents that they could get more than they bargained for when they ask for ice to further chill their cold drinks.

The sampling was part of a national survey and 30 per cent of all ice tested failed.

Environmental health officers say ice machines are difficult to clean and are an ideal breeding ground for mould and mildew. Many premises now use commercially produced ice testing bags but even they can be contaminated if poorly handled.

South Holland District Council’s portfolio holder for health, Coun Malcolm Chandler, said: “Food safety officers from SHDC participated in this national survey.

“We sample a wide variety of foods as part of our sampling programme to make sure the public are confident in the food they eat.

“They expect food to be safe and to have been handled hygienically.”

Eighty-eight places were tested across Yorkshire and the East Midlands, including coffee shops, hotels, public houses, restaurants and supermarkets.