The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States regards ice not as water, but as a form of food, which means the FDA instructs everyone to treat it like food as well. Ice in ice machines can get easily contaminated, especially in commercial places where there is a lot of use.
Ice can easily get contaminated in various ways. Airborne contamination if the machine isn’t covered or left open, using an unclean cup or hand to fetch ice, improper handling of ice, contaminated water are all possible reasons ice gets contaminated.
In this blog, we’re going to list down a few safety tips for commercial owners of ice machines, and how they can keep the machines, as well as the ice, safe and healthy for their customers.
1. Adequate Training of Restaurant/Bar Staff
Proper training of the restaurant’s bar staff can help avoid many problems when it comes to ice. The employees should be trained never to fetch ice with bare hands that haven’t been washed, or without clean gloves. Always use an ice scoop instead of a glass or any other utensil, do not put back any ice in the ice machine in any case, and keep the ice machine doors or lid closed, these are some of the tips your staff needs to be aware of.
Another common problem is using the ice machine as a refrigerator. Never put any sort of drinks, food, or any other things inside an ice machine. Don’t even put anything else in the ice bin, except ice.
2. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance of the Ice Machine
The ice machine, especially commercial ones, need to be regularly checked and cleaned. The machines need proper sanitization after the cleaning before they get operational again. Regular cleaning is often referred to as light cleaning. Extensive cleaning should be done as well but not as frequently as light cleaning.
Mold and fungus growth in the ice machine are to be thoroughly checked, as it has a favorable environment to grow in there and can pose serious health hazards if present. This is why it is recommended that the ice machine should only be checked and cleaned by professionals.
3. Ventilation of the Machine
If an ice machine is placed in a confined room that has limited or less airflow, and the room temperature starts to rise, it will start affecting the ice machine’s ability to make and maintain the ice. The ice, that is already in the machine, will start to melt, which can lead to serious problems like mold and fungi growth. It’s important to keep ice machines in a place where there is proper ventilation and the temperature isn’t too hot.
4. Parts Replacement
There are taps and hoses installed in an ice machine, to let the water in and prevent it from backflow. Damage, for example, rusting, to these parts can contaminate the ice, since the water supply is contaminated in the first place. The taps and hoses need timely repairing or replacement.
Other parts of the machine that need regular maintenance are the water filter and the door. The door, if not properly sealing the machine, may allow contaminants to enter the machine and contaminate the ice.
If you are looking for ice machine solutions, or want yours professionally serviced and cleaned in Los Angeles, consider LA Ice Machine. We also provide ice machines for commercial or office use, and you can rent ice machines as well. For more information, contact us on +18183403644 or email us at LAICEMACHINELLC@GMAIL.COM