Bhopal: Take note, next time you to go to roadside juice vendor to quench your thirst make sure the ice being used to chill your drink is edible. To beat the hot summer days, sugarcane juice, nimbu Shikanji are the first choice but vendors are playing with the health of the people as they instead of using dry ice (edible) are going for commercial ice to serve chilled drinks. This is clear violation of Food and Drug Administration guidelines as the use of commercial ice for human consumption is prohibited.

Commercial ice is manufactured for freezing purpose only and is inedible. It cannot be used for chilling the drink. In the state capital, district administration has given license only to manufacture commercial ice for freezing and cooling purpose. There is separate license is needed for manufacturing edible dry ice to be used in drinks, juices and soft drinks.

Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has claimed that it keeping eye on the ice manufactures and the vendors and have issued directives. As of now it is in form of advisory and directives and no actions have been initiated against any vendors but the department is keeping a strict watch, claimed the officials. Traders who have license of commercial ice, have been directed to maintain details records about purchasers just to ensure if it is used for right purpose.

FDA inspector Dharmendra Nunaiyna said that the department has instructed the manufacturers to maintain the records of the sale of commercial ice. Besides, we are also keeping eye on vendors selling sugarcane juice and other fruit drinks. The officer admitted that some vendors were caught using commercial ice but they were let off with a warning as they expressed their ignorance about difference between commercial ice and dry ice(edible).

Next time action will be taken against the vendors and juice centers if they are found flouting the rule, said Nunaiyna, adding that the department will continue to with its drive throughout the season. He said that some of the vendors explained that they use commercial ice to prepare dry ice at home by freezing RO water.

So it is ok as it is hygienic and safe from health point of view, said the officer. But if any one if found using direct commercial ice in soft drinks, they will be penalized, said the inspector. The officer informed that the department has also launched a drive on packed –water. We verify the manufacturing, its date and others factors mentioned on bottle or pouch as it is related to health of people, he added.

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