Let’s take a minute to discuss the top 5 worst environments for ice machine cleanliness. That’s right - Ice machines do prefer some environments to others. But what are the very worst places when it comes to bacteria growth in ice machines?
Breaded and Fried Foods
Food establishments that bread and fry food create the perfect habitat for yeast and bacteria growth. All of that fried yeast gets into the air and settles into the ice machine. Bacteria then grows inside the bin, tubing, and evaporator where ice is being made. If your restaurant serves breaded and fried foods you need to be cleaning your ice machine more often than other establishments.
Fresh Dough EnvironmentsSub shops, pizza places, and doughnut shops all have one thing in common - Fresh, yeasted dough. If you are making your own dough and frying or baking it on site there is yeast in your air. That yeast will make its way into the ice machine and it creates the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.
Convenient Stores With Food EstablishmentsA growing revenue stream for convenient stores is adding fast food options within the building. Adding a food prep and cook area adds yeast and bacteria to the environment. It also increases the need to clean the ice machines with greater frequency.
An additional hurdle C-stores need to overcome is that their ice machines are much harder to access to clean properly. To clean the ice machines the store must take that machine out of customer use, and they stop being able to make money. Read more about the inconvenience of convenient store ice.
Despite the annoyance, it is important that C-stores take the necessary steps to keep their ice machines clean and clear of mold, yeast, and bacteria growth that can harm customers.
BreweriesAgain, here is an environment with high amounts of yeast present in the air. Breweries with eating and serving establishments must create a cleaning schedule to maintain their equipment and the quality and safety of the ice they are serving to customers.
Hotels and HospitalityWhen we are talking about hotel and hospitality ice machine cleanliness we are not talking about their restaurant ice machines. We are talking about ice machines that can be found on each floor in the hallways.
These ice machines are often neglected and are not cleaned as frequently as machines in food areas. It is important for hotels and hospitality establishments to maintain all of their ice machines and keep strict cleaning schedules to avoid a buildup of mold, yeast, and bacteria in ice machines.
Ice Machine CleanlinessThe bottom line for any business that owns a commercial, food-grade ice machine is you must find a cleaning schedule that works to keep your machine continuously clean and safe for your customers.
The manufacturer’s recommended cleaning schedule is just twice a year for descaling. This is not enough to keep the dreaded pink slime and harmful bacteria growth from invading your machine.
If your business fits any of the above outlined business establishments you may need to take extra care to ensure your ice machines remain clean. This could include extra cleanings, water filtration, or the addition of a water sanitization device that can kill off harmful bacterias present and help keep the machine cleaner for longer.