Think before you reach out for that welcome drink at a social do next time. There are reports of inferior-quality ice cubes being used in drinks and that they are triggering waterborne diseases, especially typhoid and hepatitis A.The community department of the medical college hospital has found that several instances of waterborne diseases have been detected in the state. “We have come across certain instances that suggested use of poor quality water for ice cubes manufacturing. This is triggering waterborne diseases. Not just welcome drinks, the same ice is used in juices and ice creams too,” said Dr Indu P S, additional professor, community medicine department, medical college hospital.
The health officials have found that such incidents are more being reported in the rural areas where there is no appropriate checking of the ice plants. “We are not sure of the water being used for making ice. It should be made mandatory to use boiled water for preparing juices and strict guidelines should be issued on use of water in ice plants,” said Dr Indu.At Vamanapuram in Thiruvananthapuram, a sporadic spread of typhoid was reported a few weeks ago. A detailed analysis detected that the welcome drink supplied at a marriage function had caused the disease. Similarly, instances of spread of hepatitis A were reported in Pathanamthitta. This was triggered by juice, in which poor quality water was used, The next phase of suffering , which was served at a function. Now, food safety authorities have ordered checking of all juice and ice cream parlours, especially in rural areas.
“We have received such reports from a few districts and we are undertaking a detailed analysis. Every time there is a report of sporadic increase in waterborne diseases, we conduct a detailed analysis of the water used in food and drinks in that area,” said a senior health official.