Why You Should Never Use Glass To Scoop Ice

We've all seen it happen at least once or twice on a busy Friday or Saturday night in a packed dive bar. Your bartender, in a hurry to serve as many people as possible, is pulling a draft for someone with one hand while grabbing a fresh glass with the other, scooping it into the ice bin to fill it before pouring that cocktail on the rocks or reaching for the soda gun. While at first you might be impressed with your bartender's multi-tasking abilities, what's not so impressive is their lack of adherence to safe food handling protocols according to Food Quality & Safety.

You may have even done this yourself a time or two, reaching for a couple of glasses at once and then plunging them into your ice bin or bag to fill them before adding your favorite beverage. Unfortunately, while at first blush, this may look like a time-saver — it could actually be a deadly move to anyone being served those drinks.

It's about food safety

In a TikTok that has since gone viral, Jillian Mariano, General Manager of The Alamo Texas BBQ & Tequila Bar in Brookline, New Hampshire, points out bartending red flags, one of which is scooping ice with the glass you are serving in. But why is this a big no-no? Well, there are a couple of really good reasons, and both of them have to do with food safety. The first, according to Carlisle FoodService Products, is bacteria.

With so many employees' hands touching or handling a single glass throughout its daily or nightly life cycle, the potential for bacterial contamination increases. That germ can then be transferred easily from the glass to the ice if the glass is introduced directly to the ice bucket or bin. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation lists glass among the many things that should never touch ice that will be used in drinks (other items include the soda gun, bottles of wine or beer, and hands), noting that this advice comes straight from the New York State Department of Health.

The second reason puts you in more immediate danger. Quickly ramming a glass into a bucket of ice to scoop some up means that it has a high chance of getting chipped or broken. If that happens, you could end up with glass bits in your drink or subsequent drinks served from that ice bin, as these chips are indistinguishable from ice (via Delish).