A recent study by Helsinki City Environmental Services has confirmed that the majority of scooped ice creams sold in the city meet high microbiological quality standards. This comprehensive survey, conducted during the spring and summer of 2023, involved collecting 57 samples from 24 different locations, including kiosks, cafes, restaurants, and ice cream manufacturers.
The samples consisted of 34 scooped ice creams, 21 soft-serve ice creams, and two samples of ice cream scoop water. The findings were reassuring, with most of the scooped ice creams in Helsinki demonstrating excellent microbiological quality. Only seven samples were rated as mediocre or poor, mainly due to an excessive amount of enterobacteria, a type of bacteria that can be a health concern.
In response to the few subpar samples, authorities have taken additional samples and provided guidance to the affected vendors on improving water point usability and cleaning practices for canister waters and ice cream machines.
The study highlighted several factors that affect the hygienic quality of ice cream, including the quality of raw materials, storage conditions, temperature of the ice cream mass, and the cleanliness and maintenance of ice cream machines and utensils.
This isn't the first time Helsinki has scrutinized the quality of its ice cream. Similar studies were conducted in 2008 and 2015. In 2008, one in every four samples raised concerns, showing a significant improvement over the years. By 2015, the majority of samples from summer kiosks and cafes were found to be of good quality, indicating ongoing efforts to maintain high hygiene standards in the city's ice cream offerings.
Overall, this study not only reassures residents and visitors about the quality of ice cream in Helsinki but also reflects the city's commitment to food safety and public health.