Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Aged Ice Regarded Safe for Health


PHILADELPHIA. — The Natural Ice Association of America, including dealers in natural ice in Philadelphia, has begun a "campaign of education" to inform the public that aged ice is free from bacteria.

Bacteria are the little wigglers in water that get into the insides of people and often give them typhoid, diphtheria and other diseases. A quart of water contains a million or two of these bacteria. Some of them, not all, are dangerous to health.

But the natural ice men say — and they produce scientific argument to support their assertions — that although the bacteria are frozen into the ice when the water congeals, they are killed off so rapidly that in 24 hours 90 per cent of them are dead, and within a few weeks the ice is sterile — absolutely free from bacterial life of any kind.

One Philadelphia natural ice dealer said recently: "Natural ice is cut in December, January and February. Seventy percent of it is used between June and September, when it is anywhere from sixteen to twenty weeks old, and when the bacteria are frozen in it, and have been without air, motion, warmth and food from four to five months."

A paper recently sent out with the endorsement of the national body of natural ice dealers says:

"The buyer of ice should really be as anxious to obtain, and the dealer in natural ice as quick to advertise, that he sells old ice, as the green grocer is to seek trade on the strength of the freshness of his tomatoes or peas, and the butter and egg man on his new-laid or freshly made products. Old ice is pure ice, sterile ice, free from bacteria harmful or helpful."

Dr. Edwin Jordan, professor of bacteriology in the University of Chicago and at Rush Medical College, says:

"Experiments have shown that when water freezes the great majority of typhoid bacteria that it contains are immediately destroyed. Those that survive die off progressively. According to Park, not one in a thousand lives in ice longer than one month, and at the end of six months all are dead. Relatively few epidemics of typhoid fever have been proved to be due to the use of ice."

Dr. Charles H. Lawall, chemist for the Pennsylvania dairy and food commission, said that bacteria can live without air, and that a temperature of 32 degrees was not fatal for a long time to many kinds of bacteria.

—Oelwein Daily Register, Oelwein, IA, Sept. 27, 1910, p. 2.

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