To some, this may sound like a silly question, but if you run a pub, restaurant or hotel, it is likely you will be serving customers drinks with ice cubes in them – especially during the heatwave we experienced recently in the UK. What you may not realise though is that ice is actually classed as food under the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 legislation.
As ice is classed as a food item, it must be produced and stored in a hygienic manner with any potential safety issues removed to reduce the risk of any bacteria getting into your ice and causing problems.
What can you do to keep your ice machine clean? Read our top tips below to make sure your ice is clean and bacteria-free.
Always use a scoop
Use a clean scoop anytime you are moving ice. Never use a glass as a make-shift scoop – the ice can easily break the glass, and it can be difficult to transfer the ice without having to touch it with your hands. A stainless-steel scoop is ideal as this can be washed and sanitised with each use. Make sure you store your scoop near to the ice machine, but not on top of it – this will help prevent bacteria on the handle from causing any type of contamination.
Carry out a deep clean of your machine
Schedule in a deep clean of your machine. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, make sure every part of the machine is thoroughly cleaned inside and out.
Use a water filter
Use a water filter in your ice machine which will ensure that ice is contamination and bacteria-free. Change the filter regularly, at least every 6 months, to avoid any build-up of limescale forming.
Keep the lid closed
Most modern ice makers now come with a lid, so always make sure this is kept closed to prevent any bacteria in the air from getting inside the machine. Likewise, If you have got any unused ice from the machine, do not put it back into the ice machine as this allows bacteria to enter the machine.
One of the biggest ways in which bacteria can be transferred to ice and your ice machine is through members of staff not maintaining good personal hygiene. When handling food, personal hygiene is of the highest importance for all members of staff, and especially at the present time, hand hygiene should play an even bigger role in every hospitality venue.
By following these tips and carrying our regular cleaning of both the internal parts and the external areas of your ice machine, you can be sure that your machine will be working efficiently and making ice that is clean, safe and free from any bacteria.
Contact our team of expert engineers today if you would like to discuss booking a service for your ice machine.