Business wants to battle bad ice

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Getting a decent cup of ice at our house can be difficult.

Our refrigerator's icemaker seems to have a mind of its own. We've had repairmen out several times. Each time, it's fixed and operates for a while.

But sooner or later, it stalls again.

Rather than call a repairman this time, I just went out and bought a bag of ice and dumped the ice into the ice container on the refrigerator door.

That way I can still get ice from the dispenser even if it's store-bought ice.

But even that may not be the best way to go.

The experts at Water Bank of America in Miami have come up with Icerocks -- small, disposable plastic containers filled with spring water and sealed shut.

According to the Icerock gurus, ice added to drinks at many tourist destinations contains fecal matter or E. coli bacteria.

That just won't do. Nobody wants to have polluted ice.

The Miami company's answer to polluted ice is to provide hermetically sealed ice cubs.

Stored in the freezer, they stay fresh. Then when you need them, you peel open the containers and you have healthy ice cubes for your drinks.

According to Water Bank, this ice is "uncontaminated by human contact."

Amazing. I thought that's what my refrigerator's automatic icemaker and dispenser were supposed to do.

Before we had our current refrigerator, we made ice the old fashioned way and then manually dumped the cubes out of the ice tray.

This, of course, meant touching the ice cubes with our hands. Who knew that we were putting our health in danger?

I always assumed it was the sugar and other ingredients in our refreshments that were bad for us. Now, it seems, ice was the culprit all along.

Maybe that's why much of the rest of the world avoids ice in their drinks. Americans may be the most ice-loving society on Earth.

I know I shouldn't laugh about this. I'm sure our federal bureaucrats already are making plans to counter a possible bad-ice epidemic and confiscate any germ-filled icemakers.

In the meantime, maybe we should wash our ice with soap, which would certainly cleanse it of germs. Of course, it would taste bad and make you give up iced tea entirely.

But it could be worse. We could be stuck in Sydney, Australia, and forced to listen to loud Barry Manilow music.

A suburban council has started playing Manilow and Doris Day hits at high volume to chase away late-night revelers at a park.

One official in the suburb of Rockdale says the barrage of "Copacabana" and "Que Sera Sera" is working. That's no surprise.

But some nearby residents aren't sure they can take the musical assault much longer, the Associated Press reports.

Perhaps the city council should just dispense buckets of ice to the park revelers. Once they stick their germy hands in the ice, the party's sure to end.

That is unless the unwanted revelers show up with their own supply of packaged, healthy ice.

At that point, the city's only solution may be to ban healthy ice from the park at night. It's either that or crank up the Manilow music.

Mark Bliss is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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