If you go to a half decent bar, the second question after the barman asks ‘single or double?’ is always: “Do you want ice with that?”
If you happen to find yourself in a dive, chances are they’ll put a shit load of ice in your drink whether or not you’ve asked for it.
But there’s a very gross reason why you should probably pass on the offer regardless.
Reddit users who work in bars and restaurants have made it clear the ice can be harbouring some pretty nasty bacteria.
The reason for this is that ice machines are often last on the priority list when it comes to cleaning. And having worked in a fair few bars around the world, I can definitely attest to this – although I’ve never found what these Reddit users have.
User ‘peenonoR’ said:
Worked at a coffee shop. Once found a dead spider and mildew in the ice maker. I cleaned that thing weekly from then on. I get nervous getting ice from places now.
Same goes for corner stores too, apparently.
Reddit user ‘FrostyBeav’ wrote:
What’s really gross is getting ice in a drink and having it taste more and more like grease as the ice melts.
This is really prevalent in convenience stores that serve fried food like corn dogs, pizza sticks, jojos, etc.
The ice machine is usually by the ‘kitchen’ and picks up the grease in the air from the fryers.
According to the Mirror, a 2013 study showed that ice in six out of 10 restaurants contained more bacteria than toilet water.
Of course, many restaurants will adhere to strict hygiene guidelines when it comes to cleaning their ice machine (and everything else) – so it’s not fair to say they’re all dirty.
Either way, I think I’ll be staying away from ice in my drinks from now on!