How to Keep Your Employees Safe from Coronavirus

How to Keep Your Employees Safe from Coronavirus

LA ICE MACHINE is considered an essential business and will remain operational. We are committed to assisting our customers and community with all refrigeration needs during these unprecedented times. We are here to help!

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

Everything we know about coronavirus so far suggests that it is transmitted from person-to-person. Airborne respiratory droplets from an infected person can pass the disease to other people or onto surfaces for a short while. While we don’t exactly know how long the disease can survive on surfaces, current evidence suggests it is between a few hours to days.

Like all diseases, there is no way to guarantee your business is 100% sanitary. Still, by following best practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidental contamination, which can lead to a customer or employees member getting sick.

Employees Must Wash Hands and Limit Unnecessary Contact

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is the leading organization tasked with preventing the spread of infectious diseases. They have compiled a list of best practices to help stop the spread of infectious diseases like coronavirus:

  • No handshakes or hugs – use other methods to greet one another without contact
  • Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand washing reminders by email or text
  • Create habits and reminders to avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes
  • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, food prep surfaces, and handrails regularly
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning

Stress to employees that they need to spend at least 20 seconds washing their hands with soap and water. Employees must be particularly conscious of washing their hands after using restroom facilities, touching their face or caring for another individual, and handling money from customers.

If an Employee is Sick, Have Them Stay Home.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Employees showing any of these signs need to stay at home. Even an employee showing mild symptoms could be contagious. Symptoms for at-risk individuals can be much worse, so it’s important to think about their safety.

Prevent Coronavirus with Safe Ice Handling Practices

The inside of an ice maker bin is cold and made of inorganic, antimicrobial material. The surface of an ice cube is not an environment where viruses can thrive, but that does not mean a person can’t get sick from an ice machine.

If an individual coughs or sneezes into their hand and touches the bin door, dispenser button, or the ice supply itself, they can transfer the virus onto the surface. From there, the disease could be transferred to the next user or into a customer’s drink.

Restaurant ice machines commonly include an ice bin to store the ice.

Here are a few tips you can follow when using an ice maker and bin:

  • Always keep the ice bin door closed when ice is not being used.
  • Require employees to wash their hands prior to scooping ice out of the bin.
  • Always use an ice scoop to dispense ice. Do not scoop using glassware.
  • Store the ice scoop outside of the bin.
  • Sanitize the ice scoop with a mixture of 2 tsp chlorine bleach per gallon of water (you can also sanitize the scoop in your dishwasher).

Ice dispensers are popular types of hotel and hospital ice makers. These machines utilize a button or lever to dispense ice directly into glassware, rather than having to scoop ice by hand. Users still need to practice caution when using these machines. Users who are sick can transfer the disease to the button or lever if they press it by hand.

It’s not realistic to instruct a person to disinfect the area every time a user touches it. Still, there are things you can do to encourage sanitary practices.

“We have a big saying here in our mission statement,” Covell says, “We want to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Placing a supply of disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizing stations near the machine can encourage users to wipe the area down or sanitize their hands after every use. This makes it easier for employees to keep the area sanitary and decrease the chances of contamination.

 

Disinfect and Sanitize Your Ice Equipment and High-Use Surfaces

Disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces will eliminate bacteria and viruses like COVID-19 that can cause people harm.

There are many approved cleaners the EPA suggests using to combat viral contaminants. Across all industries, bleach is the most widely used and cost-effect disinfectant.

There is a difference between disinfecting and sanitizing. Disinfecting requires a stronger concentration to kill germs. You must rinse the area of any remaining cleaner, especially if it’s a food contact surface.

Sanitizing means using a lesser concentration to kill off the remaining microorganisms on the surface.   When sanitizing, allow the solution to air dry.

Cleaning the Exterior of Your Ice Equipment

  • Pre-wash any soiled area with warm water.
  • Wipe the area with a solution of 8 oz of bleach per gallon of water (or other EPA approved cleaner)
  • Let the solution sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly with water and let air dry.
  • To sanitize further, spray the area with a mixture of 2 teaspoons of bleach to one gallon of water.
  • Let air dry.

Cleaning the Inside of Your Ice Bin

  • Use a spray bottle to saturate the contaminated surfaces.
  • Wipe the areas to remove the debris and make sure to rinse the area well.
  • Once you’ve wiped the bin down after disinfecting, reapply the solution to sanitize.
  • Leave the mixture to air dry.

Finally, make sure you also clean your ice machine’s air filter regularly to decrease the growth of biofilms in the ice machine.

Keep Your Business Safe from COVID-19 and Other Diseases

Keeping customers and employees safe should be a top priority. Following CDC guidelines and staying diligent with a regular ice machine cleaning schedule is the best way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like coronavirus.

For more information about keeping your ice equipment sanitary, see our Hoshizaki ice machine cleaning guide or our Manitowoc ice machine cleaning guide.

At LA ICE MACHINE, we professionally clean and sanitize all our ice machines three a year to hinder the growth of biofilms that can make people sick. Our professional ice machine service also helps in cleaning slime, scale, or sediment as well. We ensure our ice machines are always up to the safest standards as part of our all-inclusive ice machine rental program.

LA ICE Machine: One Stop Shop for ALL Commercial Ice Maker Needs!

A restaurant, bar or cafeteria owner knows how important a good ice machine can be for successful functioning of food establishment.  To ensure timely service to guests, it is important for any kind of restaurant to always have enough ice on hand throughout the day.  For example; If one hundred people are served in a day at your restaurant and most of them order cocktails or any other drink, it is imperative to have around 500 lbs of ice daily. This is where the value of the machines making ice in no time becomes an absolute necessity.

Restaurant owners cannot afford losing customers due to insufficient ice availability. Putting down customers due to improperly chilled or lukewarm drinks and food can be a major drawback for your business. It’s about compromising the quality and reputation of your restaurant. Therefore, it is imperative to have a good commercial ice maker that fulfills your needs in time without letting you lose your valuable customers.

There are numerous highly advanced ice making machines available for commercial purposes. Two major types are “modular and self-contained ice machines”. Here’s a brief on these types:

Modular Ice Machine

For restaurants where ice is required in larger quantities, modular machines serve the best purpose. It is a hands-on system for places that need more than 300lbs of ice in a day. This ice production unit needs a separate storage bin for ice collection.

Self-Contained Machines

These machines require lesser space than modular ones. Self-contained systems are designed to produce and store ice within the same unit. Though this type of ice machine has a lower production rate and storage capacity than modular units but for confined space restaurants, it is undoubtedly the best.

When it comes to pick one, it entirely depends upon your need. If you are running a restaurant that is regularly inundated by customers, you can choose to go with a modular one with larger ice production and storage. However, if you fall under another category where the demand for ice is not that big and have lesser space, then a self-contained ice machine is the answer.

Types of Ice

Some key types of ice are Flake, Gourmet, Crescent, Nugget, Cube and Half Cube.  Flake ice tends to melt faster than the others and gourmet ice is perfect for high-end cocktails while cube, crescent and half cube types of ice are usually found in home freezers. Nugget type ice is yet another type that are small, chewable and certainly a top customer’s preference list as they cool drinks instantly without melting away too soon.

As you move forward to make a choice on which ice machine style is needed, it is imperative that certain factors are taken into consideration.  Size or capacity, cost, speed of ice production, power source, and water source and condenser type are some key factors that need your consideration before buying any machine.

Conclusion

Ice machines have certainly become an undeniable accessory for any restaurant or bar. There are many online stores offering a vast array of options and styles. LA Ice Machine is one such platform wherein you can find best and most efficient long-lasting ice making products. Making it easier on your budget, they even have commercial ice maker for Sale. Here, you not only get machines from top brands like Hoshizaki, Scotsman, Manitowoc and Ice-O-Matic, but are also ensured with low fixed price maintenance service. Whether its installation, filter change, repairs or scheduled maintenance, LA Ice Machine is there to take care of your needs. You will certainly be a satisfied customer. So, there’s no looking back, just go grab the best and call LA ICE MACHINE today at 818-340-3644.

Ice-beverage

Ice, “A Forgotten Food”, and How It Can Make You Sick

Take for instance the death of a healthy 15 year old boy who went home following a junior golf
tournament. Health officials were able to trace the cause back to a gastrointestinal illness that was
present in the coolers. Turns out, an employee who handled the ice did not wash his/her hands
properly.

Norovirus, although not normally fatal, had caused the young boy to die as a result of asphyxiation from
vomiting. This could all have been prevented had the proper precautions been taken when handling ice
that is to be consumed by your customers.

The easiest and simplest step by far, is to wash your hands.

The following are a couple of steps you can take:

  • Treat ice just as you would food (do not make direct contact since ice will actually preserve
    germs)
  • Using an ice scooper is best, but the problem arises when it is dropped back into the bin (the
    handle which has now been touched by any and all of your employees should not go back in)

Finally, do not think that self-serve ice machines are void of these problems. In fact, they are not, since
the unit itself has to be hand-loaded. Which is why when you sign up for a quarterly maintenance (or
monthly) agreement, the ice machine unit/dispenser is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Specific
cleaning chemicals are used to flush the internals, where mineral deposits and potential pathogens can
stay dormant. Call LA ICE MACHINE today at 818-340-3644 for a quote on planned scheduled
maintenance. We have plans starting as low as $120.00 per visit**. Please call for details.

LA Ice Machine, LLC. prides itself in being a provider of rental commercial ice machines.
Our rental ice program includes:
Ice Machine, Bin or Dispenser, Water Filters

23705 Vanowen St. #131., West Hills, CA 91307
(818) 340-3644

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  • We believe that hard work has dignity and results should be the measure for reward.
  • We believe in the human spirit and the AMERICAN dream.
  • We assure only the best service without compromise.
  • Excellence in service is our commitment to you.
  • We will always endeavor to deliver the caring customer service that you deserve.

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Our Southern California service areas include the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, Long Beach, Greater LA and Orange County just to name a few.