Prague hygienists: Ice cream is safe

Inspections found just a few problems in the ice cream supply chain

Most ice cream in Prague has passed inspection, though there were exceptions. Sales and consumption of ice cream rise during heat waves and the city tries to keep ahead of health problems by inspecting vendors and producers to ensure basic standards have been met.

The Prague Hygienic Station (HSHMP), the same agency that monitors flu levels in the winter and swimming water quality in the summer, has been inspecting the ice cream supply chain. So far, Prague's hygienists have checked the preparation and delivery of ice cream in 104 cases and have taken eight samples of ice cream for laboratory analysis.

“So far, we have the results of four of the analyzes. In one, it turned out that proper hygiene during ice cream production was not respected. We, therefore, directed the clean up of the operation,” HSHMP director Jan Jarolímek said on the HSHMP website.

Inspectors found some other issues as well.

“Errors appeared in meeting the requirements regarding the hygienic operation and the general requirements for ice-cream facilities. One operator did not follow HACCP-based procedures, or in a simplified way, the basic principles of safe food handling at the facility,” Jarolímek said. HACCP is short for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, a system of quality control that reduces risks from biological, chemical, and physical hazards in food production.

“Corrective actions were taken for the errors identified. We are also preparing financial sanctions,” Jarolímek added.

The names of the violators were not disclosed.

As far as ice cream results are concerned, this situation this year is not different than last year. “It turns out that in most cases hygienic regulations are being followed when preparing and handling ice cream,” Jarolimek concludes.

HSHMP currently registers 1,013 outlets in Prague with a range of ice cream and similar products in Prague. Of this number, the HSHMP monitors 647 facilities itself and the State Agriculture and Food Inspection (SZPI) oversees 366.

Out of the 647 establishments monitored by the HSHMP, approximately 50 to 60 establishments, or some 10 percent, produce ice cream themselves. Other establishments sell ice cream produced elsewhere that they purchase wholesale.

As for where to get the best ice cream, that is a matter of opinion that the HSHMP does not look into.

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