This may come as a surprise, but according to the FDA, ice is considered food. This means that you need to be handling ice in a sanitary manner! Bacteria lingers in restaurant kitchens no matter how often and how careful you are when cleaning the kitchen, but here are some tips to try to keep your ice sanitary:
Employees should ALWAYS wash their hands before getting ice from the ice machine and they should only hold the ice scoop handle.
- Never scoop ice with your hands, or with a glass—this might be efficient, but it’s highly unsanitary
- Don’t return unused ice to the ice machine
- Ice machine doors should be closed except when removing ice
- Ice scoops should be cleaned regularly and stored outside the ice machine
- Never use the ice machine as a refrigerator
Inspect Ice Machine
- Always inspect the exterior of the machine (door handle, hatch, etc.)
- Look for any evidence of growth on or inside the machine
- Routinely clean ice
Ice Machine Maintenance
We’ve touched on exactly how to clean your ice machine in the past, but always make sure that you’re getting your ice machine routinely checked.
- Should be serviced by technician two times per year
- Certain ice machine companies will schedule these inspections and cleanings for you
Ice can easily become dirty if you don’t take care of it, or your ice machine. You don’t want to be serving customers dirty ice because they definitely will not be coming back and we’re all about making sure your customers come back time and time again!