Caution issued for ice consumption following COVID-19 infections at ice factories
Following the reported emergence of clusters of COVID-19 infections at ice factories in Samut Prakan and Chon Buri provinces, the Health Department is advising consumers to choose ice cubes which are properly packed, sealed and with good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification.
Director-General of the Health Department Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said today that the reported clusters may concern consumers, regarding the safety of ice cubes or crushed ice, which they usually buy from convenience stores for putting in dessert, drinks or for preserving fresh produce.
He said that cubed or crushed ice, which are not properly packed and sealed, can be contaminated, if the production process is not clean or up to the required GMP standard.
For their safety, he suggested consumers buy ice which is packed and sealed properly or which is certified by the Food and Drug Administration.
For ice factories, Dr. Suwanchai said the department has sought cooperation from their management in tightening up their quality controls, by screening their workers on daily basis, making sure they are safe and easing congestion in their workplaces.
Regular hand washing with disinfectants and the wearing of clean shoes by workers during the manufacturing process is necessary, he said, adding that ice should not be put on the floor and the production line must be regularly disinfected.
For the use of crushed ice in fresh food preservation, he suggested vendors put the ice in plastic bags, to avoid direct contact between the ice and the food.
81 workers at a factory in Samut Prakan tested positive for COVID-19 last week, while 57 others at a Chon Buri factory also got the coronavirus.