E.coli found in 72% of ice samples


  1. Mumbai’s civic public health department has found ice samples served at restaurants and eateries across the city contaminated with E.coli microbes.
  2. A total of 948 samples of ice were collected, of which 870—or 92 %—were found to be contaminated.

E.coli bacteria.

E.coli bacteria.
MUMBAI: A civic public health department’s survey has found that ice served at hundreds of hawkers and restaurants across the city is contaminated with E.colimicrobes.

“We conducted a survey in March and April and found that 67% and 72% ice samples respectively were contaminated,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, civic executive health officer. The only silver lining is that a similar survey conducted just before last year’s monsoon found that 92% of the ice samples were contaminated.

During last year’s survey, a total of 948 samples of ice were collected from across the city, of which 870—or 92 %—were found contaminated. The samples were picked up from ice sellers, hotels, bars, juice stalls, dairies, sweetmeat shops, ice-gola vendors and fast food outlets among others. “We mainly check for E.coli as it is indicative of contamination,” Dr Keskar explained. 

E.coli can cause diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Ice is transported from ice factories in an unhygienic manner, leading to contamination.

The BMC will continue its survey of ice over the next couple of months. “Due to the summer heat, people prefer to order iced drinks at restaurants and roadside hawkers. It is a health hazard to consume such drinks,” Dr Keskar warned. “It is safer to carry a water bottle from home, instead of consuming such iced drinks,” she added.


The BMC has also written to the the state Food and Drug Administration to take action against vendors and eateries that serve contaminated ice.


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