The Dangers and Prevention of Ice Contamination


The Dangers and Prevention of Ice Contamination

Most restaurants and bars require ice to serve their customers drinks at ideal temperatures. The excessive use of ice is a requirement but not all employees are properly trained to handle the ice.

As a result, sometimes ice falls prey to contamination, leading to customers perceiving your business as a risk to their health. Let’s take a look at some factors that can lead to ice contamination.

The Dangers

  • Unlike food and other items, it is difficult for germs to latch onto ice cubes due to the cold exterior. However, it is still possible and can lead to serious health problems for your customers.
  • The possibilities of contamination are introduced by a user or dirty utensils. Employees are reminded repeatedly of the importance of washing their hands and keeping a clean workplace, especially for restaurants. The negligence on this matter is a huge factor in why your ice gets contaminated.
  • Another threat to ice cubes is a waterborne pathogen such as Legionella. Even though this is a much rarer chance that your ice will be contaminated by this disease, however, it has happened and can cause serious health concerns.


1. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance of the Ice Machine

  • Dirty ice machines can easily contaminate your ice. Ice machines get dirty due to the frequent use by employees. Some restaurants even store their drinks in ice bins which exposes the ice to bacteria on the cans or bottles.
  • To prevent dirty ice machines, regular cleaning according to the manufacturer’s guidelines is recommended. Clean the exterior and ice bin regularly to ensure a germ-free machine.
  • Utensils, such as an ice scoop, should also be cleaned multiple times daily.

2. Train your Employees

  • As we discussed, the biggest threat to the ice is your employees. You have to educate and train them to wash their hands regularly, especially after using the restroom.
  • Moreover, any utensils that they use to scoop ice should also be cleaned regularly. Some employees leave the utensil in the ice bin which is extremely dangerous. Your utensils should be kept outside of the ice bin as the handle of the utensil is a great carrier for illnesses.

3. Store Ice Only

  • Many restaurants, hotels, and bars use the ice bin as a tool to cool their soda cans and bottles.
  • This is an extremely dangerous practice since the cans and bottles are exposed to a wide variety of external stimuli. Therefore, ensure that nothing except ice is inside the ice bin. As discussed, do not even place the ice scoop inside the ice bin!

Summing it up

  • Enforce rules in your business that allow the safe handling of ice. Ice contamination can still occur because accidents can happen at any time.
  • Therefore, it becomes crucial to regularly clean all components of the ice machine and its accessories. Cleaning experts can do a better job at reaching the hard-to-reach spots and so, we recommend using professional services for proper cleaning.
  • LA ICE MACHINE has over 44 years of experience in helping its customers with any ice-related needs. From cleaning to renting an ice machine, they can do it all. Visit their website or call them at (818) 340-3644 to learn more.

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