According to safeice.org, hundreds of adults and children get sick because of contaminated ice every year.
Stacked over a drink dispenser, school ice machines can be easily found in the teacher’s lounge, cafeteria, and dining hall. In the past, ice dispensers were operated by a push button or lever. However, today, educational institutes have started investing in touchless ice machines. These hands-free ice makers feature sensors that automatically dispense the ice cubes as soon as you place the glass on the drip tray. In this article, we will teach you the protocols which ensure the safe use of school ice machines.
School Water and Ice Dispenser Rules
Let’s begin the article with the three most important school water and ice dispenser rules:
- Set up a sanitizer dispenser near the ice and beverage station. This helps remind the students and the staff to wash and sanitize their hands before scoping ice.
- While refilling the containers or cups might seem wise, it isn’t recommended. Instead, experts advise you to use a new ice container every time.
- The purpose of an ice machine or beverage dispenser’s drip tray is to catch the overflowing ice or beverage dispensed by the machine. Therefore, dumping any foreign liquid or object in the dispenser’s tray will increase the risk of bacterial growth, putting the health of your staff and students at risk.
If you prioritize the health of your students and employees, make sure that all the above-mentioned school beverage and ice dispensers are followed to the tee.
School Ice Bin Rules
Producing ice 24/7, the inside of the school ice machine is prone to growing algae. Even though algae (also known as biofilm) can be easily cleaned, negligence can result in bacteria entering the ice bin through human contamination. Follow the below-mentioned ice bin rules to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination:
- Keep the scoops above the ground and away from any contamination sources. The best way is to install a scoop holder.
- When scooping ice, ensure that neither the students nor the staff is eating or drinking anything.
- Ice is delicate and can easily get contaminated when a person breathes on it. This is why it is recommended to wear a mask while scooping ice.
- Make sure to shut off the bin door as soon as you have filled the container.
- Never scoop ice using a bucket or container.
- Never stack ice transport buckets; hang them or store them on a shelf.
Cleaning School Ice Machines
When it comes to cleaning school ice machines, there are two categories:
- Deep Cleaning: Should be only performed by a professional. The ice machine expert will thoroughly clean, disinfect, and sanitize the ice maker. It is recommended to schedule an ice machine deep clean session every six months.
- Regular Cleaning: This can be performed by the kitchen staff, janitorial crew, and even the employees. All you need to do is use a disinfectant to regularly sanitize and clean the ice machine.
Invest in the Safest School Ice Machine
Failure to follow the aforementioned safety precautions can contaminate ice and spread germs and bacteria among kids. Implement these protocols and hire a team of reliable ice experts to clean, disinfect, and sanitize the school ice machine.