Beware of the ice in wayside juices

Beware of the ice in wayside juices
Highlights

Beware of the ice in wayside juices. The next time you stop at a wayside fruit juice centre or for a sugarcane juice, think twice before you take a sip. Though people are advised to have more fluids during summer, the poor quality of ice mixed in juices may land you in hospital.

Chances are that it may be made from borewell or unhygienic water.

The next time you stop at a wayside fruit juice centre or for a sugarcane juice, think twice before you take a sip. Though people are advised to have more fluids during summer, the poor quality of ice mixed in juices may land you in hospital.

With no effective mechanism to check the quality of crushed ice and ice-cubes served in beverages, people are susceptible to diseases like dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

Speaking to The Hans India, Dr P V Nanda Kumar, Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), expressed helplessness in conducting raids. “Most officers are on election related work. In the last few months many officials were engaged in property tax collection. But we have identified centres and ice manufacturing units. A raid would be conducted in the coming days.”

Citizens could check if the ice was made with borewell water if they could let it melt and bring to normal temperature but people are always in a hurry, say experts. Dr Yashwant, a private practitioner, cautions ‘using unhygienic water to prepare ice, using rusted containers, use of ammonia as a cooling agent are harmful.’

According to a conservative estimate there are close to 20 manufacturing units in the city. Dawood Alladin of Alladin Ice at SD Road says, “The ice sold to fruit juice centres and sugarcane bandis is made from water purified through the RO process.

We have been in the business for 120 years.” When asked about the low quality of ice being sold by manufacturers he agrees that there are many fly by night operators especially during summer who want to make a fast buck. They use borewell water and do business in unhygienic conditions.

Many sugarcane, watermelon juice, lemon juice, lassi and sharbat makers line up at manufacturing units and buy slabs of ice for as low as Rs 30 per block.

There are no set standards on the size of the ice-blocks. A huge block is cut into several blocks and is sold. While blocks of ice made with tap water costs Rs 60 to Rs 120 per block, the ones made with borewell water is sold for Rs 20 to Rs 60 depending on the size of the block.

Colourful fruit juices may seem attractive but the colouring agents and low quality of ice may lead to diseases. It is always better to be safe than sorry. People should be cautious when having fruit juices from wayside joints, says DMHO Dr Narendrudu.

There are no quality standards and guidelines for manufacturing ice which is also hampering monitoring, says a senior official of the GHMC.

Ali, a dealer who supplies ice in the Secunderabad area says, “The ice made with borewell water is only suitable for people who sell fish but a few fruit juice bandis also use it.”

Many in the city insist on not adding ice in their juice as reports of ice that was used to preserve dead bodies is still fresh in their memory. Dawood says now no one uses ice. Everyone uses ice-box for dead bodies.”

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