Ice machines are the machines that produce ice. These machines can be used at various places like bars, hospitals, cafes, offices, etc. But there are many hygienic issues related to ice machines. The ice machines can get contaminated with various disease-causing microorganisms, especially moulds.
Mould is a type of fungus. Contamination by a mould is regarded as the biggest risk to ice made in ice machines. Mould is commonly found in the ice machines present at homes (freezers in this case) and restaurants. Moulds grow on ice machines when they are switched off, as they can’t grow in the cold temperatures when they are on.
This article will shed some light on how to get rid of moulds and other hygiene based issues found in ice machines:
How to get rid of moulds
Make sure you clean the freezers and ice machines many times in a year. Keep this in mind particularly when your ice machine has been switched off for some time. The refrigerators and ice machines are mostly switched off when summer comes. During this type, mound starts growing in the machine. So, a regular cleaning, even in the summers is a must.
Other hygiene issues related to ice machines
When the ice machines were tested after 5 weeks of a service, the results showed that the levels of bacteria were so high that it failed the Australia Standards Code. Due to the buildup of bacteria, the life of these ice machines reduces by 30%.
Sometimes people use ice machines without cleaning their hands. The scoop used in taking out the ice should be used with clean hands else the scoop touches the whole ice and contaminates it. You should remember to wash your hands before taking out ice like you remember to wash hands before you eat a meal. Insufficient cleaning of machines should not be done. If the ice machines are not cleaned properly, moulds will grow on it. Make sure a great amount of care goes into cleaning the ice machines. Also, proper handling of the equipment of the ice machines should be done.
Sometimes poor air and water quality can contaminate ice machines. Make sure that the surroundings in which you place the ice machine have clean air especially when the ice maker is of air-cooled type. The same goes for water cooled ice machines. The water used in water cooled ice machines should be clean.
Apart from mould and bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc contaminate the ice machines. Make sure they do not grow inside the ice makers or else contamination will happen. Again, appropriate cleaning of these machines should be done.
If bacteria are found in the ice makers of a restaurant, it should not come as a shock that bacteria might also be present elsewhere inside the restaurant premises. This raises a lot of concern about the areas using ice machines. Ice can also get contaminated when it touches other kinds of food, for instance, meat.
Another hygiene issue related to ice machines is if the water used for making ice is already dirty. This makes both the ice and the ice machines dirty. If a simple measure of using clean water is adopted, the risk of contamination of ice in the ice machines gets reduced altogether.
The viruses and bacteria growing on the ice cubes cause a lot of diseases like Norovirus, Shigella, Hepatitis A, Salmonella legionella, cholera etc. Hence, improper hygiene carried out while making ice in the ice machines can cause various diseases.
The important factors to be kept in mind while buying an ice machine can be the correct specification and type. If the ice machine is not according to the purpose for which it is used, hygiene issues may arise. Different types of businesses have different type of needs related to ice. Identifying those needs is important. For the efficient working of an ice machine, the correct amount of operational procedures must be used. Issues related to contamination of an ice machine can occur if appropriate procedures are not followed.
How to choose the best ice machine
It may be difficult to choose ice machines due to the vast variety of them in the market, especially for those who have no previous purchase experience. Here, Ice Machines Direct shares their unique tricks. First, determine the type of ice you want to generate at your home or business. After doing this, there are a couple of other factors that need to be taken into consideration for choosing the right kind of ice machines:
Size and volume
First, examine space at which you will put your ice machine once you buy it as an ice machine requires a lot of space. You can calculate your ice usage and then check whether the space you have allotted for a new ice machine is perfect to suit your ice needs. If you end up buying an ice machine that is too small, you may need to buy another one soon. So, do not compromise on the space needed to keep an ice machine especially when you have businesses that require large amounts of ice and need a high capacity ice maker.
Ice is something that should be produced in a very less time. Do look out for the production rate mentioned on the ice machine the next time you are out shopping for it. This rate will tell you about how much ice the ice maker will make during the course of one day.
Finding an ice machine that comes under a specific price range is a factor that needs to be considered. Fancy models of ice machines will cost you more. An ice machine with a high production rate and volume will also come at a higher cost.
Hence, we can all see how moulds and other types of microorganisms contaminate ice in ice machines and cause so many hygiene issues which are not easy to get rid of. Following the precautions in this article will make sure that ice makers remain uninfected to a larger extent. We can also see how buying an ice machine while keeping some factors in mind can prove to be beneficial.