How to Protect Your Customers from a Dirty Ice Machine

Reading Time: 3 minutes Food/Ice Safety

Dirty Ice Machine

A Dirty Ice Machine = Dirty Ice

It’s surprising how many people don’t consider ice as a possible health safety issue. According to the FDA, ice is a food product – and you should treat it as such. A dirty ice machine can produce ice that can make customers sick and land you in hot water during a health inspection.

We’re here to give you some tips on how to keep your ice machine clean and your customers safe.

Ice Machines are Neglected Too Often

Too often, people see ice machines as an appliance that requires very little upkeep. This could not be farther from the truth. In a 2013 report, nearly 6 in 10 restaurants had ice that was dirtier than toilet water. The reason? A dirty ice machine.

Many companies forget to clean their ice machines because they assume all that flowing water naturally cleans the unit, but that simply is not the case. Ice machines require regular cleaning and water filter replacements to help reduce the chances of accidental contamination.

Prevent a Dirty Ice Maker with Proper Cleaning

Ignoring a dirty ice machine won’t make it any cleaner. Preventive maintenance and professional cleaning are necessary if you want to prevent the spread of mold and slime that can lead to foodborne illness.

Professional service isn’t your only line of defense. Proper ice machine care starts at the workplace.

Ignoring the potential health consequences of a dirty ice machine doesn’t make the problem go away! Proactive inspections and cleaning your ice bin will keep your ice machine free from mold and slime, which can lead to illness.

We’ve created a list of handy ice safety solutions you or your staff can follow to help prevent the proliferation of mold, slime, and bacteria.

Manufacturers suggest you have your commercial ice machines professionally cleaned at least twice per year. (More often if the ice machine is in an environment with a lot of yeast in the air, like a pizza parlor or bakery.)

Professional deep cleanings also help to clean dust and dirt that has clung to vital ice machine components like condensers. When these parts are covered in dirt and dust, they lose their effectiveness – meaning it will produce less ice for your business in a day.

Avoid a Dirty Ice Machine

As if making customers sick wasn’t bad enough, a bad review can severely hurt your business. People may forgive the occasional review for bad service. Still, they’re far less likely to risk a visit to your establishment if a customer gets sick.

Keep in mind, it’s not just customers that can tarnish the reputation of your business. Most cities (including Chicago) post health inspection scores online for everyone to see. Local newspapers commonly run stories showing the best and worst graded restaurants in the area. Continues infractions can lead to costly fines or a complete shutdown of your restaurant.

While daily light cleaning of your ice machine is important, you’ll want to leave the deep cleanings to the professionals. Deep cleaning your ice machine requires more than wiping down its surface or emptying the bin. Ice machine components are difficult to reach and delicate. It’ll take a trained hand to clean your ice machine thoroughly without damaging it.

If you’re looking for quality preventive maintenance and cleaning for your ice machine, contact us! We’ve been providing service for ice machines in the Chicago area since 1961! Don’t let a dirty ice maker sideline your business!

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