Samples were taken from bulk ice cream/soft serve and water in which ice cream scoops are stored from kiosks, cafés, restaurants and ice cream manufacturing plants. A total of 57 samples from 48 sites were taken during the spring and summer of 2023. Bulk ice cream was sampled 34 times, soft serve 21 times and scoop water twice.
The results indicate that the bulk ice creams sold in Helsinki are mainly of good microbiological quality. There were a total of seven samples of passable or poor quality. The quality of both scoop water samples was good. The poor results were mainly due to excessively high volume of enterobacterium. Repeat samples were taken from all sites where the results were poor, and the operators were advised on matters such as the use of water points and the cleaning of water kept in canisters and ice cream equipment.
The hygienic quality of ice cream is affected by many factors: the quality of the raw materials, the storage conditions, the temperature of the ice cream mixture, the washing and storage of ice cream equipment and utensils, and the wear and tear of the equipment and scoops.
In Helsinki, the microbiological quality of ice cream had previously been studied in 2008 and 2015. In 2008, some kind of issues were observed in as many as one in four samples, while in 2015, the quality of samples taken from summer kiosks and cafés was largely good.