Protect Your Patrons by Keeping Your Ice Machine Clean and Sanitary

by Cheryl Dunn

Commercial ice machines can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and disease, if your business doesn't follow proper cleaning procedures. If you own a restaurant that uses an ice machine, it is imperative the machine stays as clean as possible at all times. Use the following guide to learn about the potential dangers that commercial ice machines can present and the best way to keep your patrons as safe as possible at all times.

Know the Dangers in Loose Ice

Escherichia Coli is a bacterium often found in ice machines. It develops though poor hygiene practices of individuals scooping the ice. When ingested, food poisoning can occur. Those that ingest it often experience severe dehydration, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is another form of bacteria that develops when water that goes through machines is not filtered properly. This type of bacteria is harmful to individuals that have compromised immune systems.

Salmonellosis is a digestive infection that causes diarrhoea, vomiting, a headache, and even a fever. It often lasts for two to three days.

Hepatitis A is a disease that causes damage to the liver. It is transmitted through food and drink most commonly.

Avoid Contamination at All Costs

Avoiding contamination is important to decrease the chances of illness amount your patrons. The following steps will ensure your ice machine stays clean.

Change the filter - The directions that come with the machine will dictate how frequently to change the filter. Most filters last three to six months, depending on how frequently the machine makes ice.

Remove Slime Build-Up - Yeast, mould, and mildew develop in ice machines over time. When the slime develops on the edges or the interior of the machine, it contaminates the ice inside the storage well. Have the slime removed by a professional every six months to decrease the chances of contamination.

Keep Ice Scoops Sanitary - Have a specific location for storing ice scoops. The storage location needs to be away from potential contaminates and easy to access. When your staff uses the scoops, be sure they know to hold the handle of the scoop and not to touch any other area of the scoop or the ice with their hands. This will cut down on contamination and keep the ice as sanitary as possible at all times.

Enforce Proper Hand Washing Practices - Have a sanitation station located near the ice machine. This allows employees to wash their hands before getting ice for patrons Avoid the transmission of Escherichia coli, other bacteria and viruses through proper hand washing practices.

Keeping your ice machine, like from Ice Machines Australia, as clean as possible and ensuring proper use is important. Having technicians come to clean the machine safeguards proper cleaning. The technicians run tests to ensure nothing is growing in the machine after cleaning it to ensure it is safe for use.