Ubiquitous blocks of common ice widely used in soft drinks and beverages were pinned down by the BMC survey.
Mumbai: “Nimbu paani” samples collected by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) health department from street vendors across 24 wards in the city were found to be contaminated by the E-coli bacteria. Officials suspect that in some cases, sewage water had been used.
Around 77 per cent of samples were found to be contaminated with E-coli bacteria. Of the 250 samples of ice collected, only 40 were found to be fit for human consumption. Of 204 lemonade samples collected, only 47 were safe for consumption, stated the executive health officer of BMC.
Ubiquitous blocks of common ice widely used in soft drinks and beverages were pinned down by the BMC survey. Of the ice samples collected and tested from restaurants, hotels and juice centres across the city, 98 per cent were found to be contaminated.
Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC, said, “After the detection of E-coli, we term that sample as contaminated and unfit for human consumption. E-coli bacteria can cause diarrhoea, urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis and typhoid.”
Doctors from public hospitals said that contaminated ice, sales of which go up in summer, is the primary cause of waterborne ailments like diarrhoea and urinary tract infection (UTI), gastro, stomach and throat infection.
Dean of KEM Hospital, Dr Hemant Deshmukh, told The Asian Age, “The humidity in the weather is a major reason behind people opting for juices, and cold beverages sold by roadside vendors.
Drinking beverages using contaminated ice also causes serious gastrointestinal complications. The number of cases has increased significantly in the past one month.”