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Bartenders reveal a dirty secret about your drinks

Unless you’re making a drink yourself, do you really know what’s going in it?

Business Insider surveyed 30 workers in the United States hospitality industry with one main question: What would you love to tell customers, but can’t?

Among a range of unexpected responses, one in particular seemed to cause the most concern:

“Almost no restaurants or bars clean their ice machines as regularly as they’re supposed to.”

Woah, woah, woah… hold up! We’re paying $18 for a mojito and the ice isn’t even clean?

American forensic sanitarian Robert W. Powitz is rather sceptical. He says that ice is the most consumed restaurant item in the USA and as such, the government has a responsibility to uphold a sanitary environment fit for human consumption.

Ice machines are required to be cleaned two to four times per year, or as necessary, which could be much more often considering moisture invites mould. If these standards are not met, a fine of $US100,000 may be issued. The fine is increased to $US500,000 for companies where death may result from poor ice hygiene.

However, dirty ice is not always the fault of unclean ice machines. Karen Constable, the certification manager of food safety group HACCP International, says, “If you have ever seen a bar person drag a glass through an ice tub with his bare hands or watched an employee drop the ice scoop back into an ice machine bin with the handle coming into contact with the ice, you have seen a norovirus outbreak waiting to happen.”

Eek, tough break.

Basically, we’re freaking out. Do we take the risk and munch on some risky ice, or do we order our whisky neat? Here’s hoping that the Australian government can do a better job of ensuring food safety than the United States.

Via Business Insider

About the author

Bronte is a media student at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). She enjoys music, fitness, and exploring the city.

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