Ice machine safety

Many people know they must avoid having ice in their drinks when holidaying abroad.  Well, surveys have shown that ice served in the UK can be a source of illnesses too.

Be careful that your ice cubes are safe for customers

Be careful that your ice cubes are safe for customers

Ice cubes and soda water served in public houses and restaurants sometimes show a high level of contamination with the bacteria that cause food poisoning and other harmful micro organisms such as moulds and yeasts.  Remeber that freezing will not kill any bacteria or other bad bugs. (freezing just puts the little critters to sleep !)

Because ice can become contaminated very easily it is essential that the water used is fit for consumption and the ice making equipment is effectively cleaned.  Sometimes contamination is also found in the dispenser head for soft drinks

To assist in ensuring that ice and soft drinks dispensers are free from contamination here are some tips:

1. Put ice machines in a clean environment away from sources of contamination e.g. away from the waste bins and not in areas used by the public

2. Regularly clean and disinfect ice machines and scoops and allow them to dry before use

3. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for installation, cleaning and servicing for all equipment

4. Use clean, plastic or stainless steel, utensils when collecting the ice – never glass

5. Never touch ice cubes with your hands or allow customers to do this.  Bacteria on the hands will transfer to the ice.

Remember the legislation on food safety such as Food Safety Act 1990 and Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 apply to ice used in drinks as well.

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