You might have heard about how dirty ice cubes can be, and naturally, how dirty ice machines can also be. If you run a commercial kitchen with an ice machine, you will know the weight of responsibility in keeping up with health protocols for the sake of your staff and customers. Why do ice machines get so dirty? Let’s look at the common contaminants.
Unsanitary Ice Handling
Unsanitary ice handling can be fatal. In rare cases, dirty ice was dangerous enough to cause death due to the spreading of deadly diseases, such as norovirus. One way that ice cubes can become dirty is simply the negligence of a staff member. If the team member handles the ice without washing hands, without gloves, and without a clean ice scoop, then you never know what viruses or germs could visit the ice.
Contamination through Particles in the Air
Ice machines are not airtight. Far from it. They take in air as part of the ice-making and refrigerating process. Particles in the air from any point could contain all kinds of junk, such as dust, dirt, food particles, airborne bacteria, pollen, and cleaning chemicals. The longer these particles stay in the ice machine, the more likely they will become a source of mold growth.
Dirty Air Filters
Air filters do greatly reduce the amount of contaminants that enter the machine. However, they do not catch 100% of them, and they will catch even less the dirtier the air filter is. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how often to change the air filter.
Bacteria Is Everywhere
Despite having a clean air filter, bacteria can still reside in your ice machine. It is hard not to find a surface or place that does not have any bacteria. It is a part of life. Some bacteria die at a certain temperature, but some can survive the cold. Dangerous germs do not have to contaminate your ice, though. Practicing good hygiene in terms of commercial kitchen cleaning and ice handling will go a long way to keep your ice fresh and tasty.
Lack of Ice Machine Maintenance
Do not forget about ice machine maintenance, too! Ice machine cleaning should happen daily. It is a good idea to have regular ice machine maintenance as well with a professional. Pine Heights can be your ice machine doctor in Maryland!
Contact Pine Heights Commercial Kitchen Service, Inc.!
Since 1971, Pine Heights Commercial Kitchen Service, Inc., has been the leader in Commercial Kitchen Equipment Services in the greater Baltimore Metropolitan area. We specialize in Restaurant Equipment Repair Services, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance, in-shop repairs, and over-the-counter parts.
At Pine Heights, our motto is simple: “Quality Service for Less.” We provide the highest level of commercial maintenance for a competitive rate. We are veteran and family-owned and operated and located in Baltimore at 2900 West Patapsco Ave., Baltimore, MD 21230.