Iced Drinks and Summer
From food safety control perspective, iced drinks have potential risk. If the iced drinks are contaminated by bacteria or virus during the preparation, and further kept in improper conditions, the bacteria or virus contained can multiply and cause food poisoning in those who take the drinks.
Want to savour an iced drink, here is our advice for you:
- Buy from the right source. If you are getting a non-prepackaged drink on the street, choose from a reliable licensed shop. Never get the drinks from illegal hawkers. It is especially so while travelling overseas.
- Avoid contaminated drinks. Observe the hygiene conditions of the premises, the personnel, the drink containers and utensils and make sure they are clean. Drink ingredients and ice must be properly placed and separated from other foods. If pre-made, iced drinks should be kept in covered containers and put in the upper compartment of the fridge, while uncooked food in the lower compartment.
- Prevent bacterial growth. Use boiled water or distilled water for preparing drinks and for diluting drink mixes and fruit juices. Do not leave any cold drinks under room temperature for over two hours. Take it when freshly made.
For your own interests, consider your health condition before consumption. Iced drinks are not suitable for infants, children, pregnant women, elderly and people with lower immunity.
Based on a study we reported last year, energy and sugar content in common prepackaged beverages in Hong Kong are often relatively high. So, to cool off and stay healthy in the hot summer, you are advised to pay more attention to nutrient contents and consider a lower sugar version while enjoying iced drinks.
- Risk in Brief "Safety on Flavoured Iced Beverage"
- Risk Assessment Study "Nutrient Contents of Common Non-prepackaged Beverages in Hong Kong"
- Joint Centre for Food Safety/ Consumer Council Study "Sugars Content of Prepackaged Non-alcoholic Beverages in Hong Kong"