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Dangers of a dirty ice machine

When we go to inspect ice machines, it’s clear that many are not cleaned and sanitised very often, if ever. Numerous studies show that dirty, contaminated ice is more common than people think as mould can easily build up which lets bacteria grow.

Can my ice machine make my customers sick?

The answer is yes!

Just because ice is frozen doesn’t mean it can’t contain harmful bacteria or viruses. Both you and your customers can get very sick from contaminated ice.

In a study conducted by a university in the US, Salmonella, E. coli, and Shigella all survived in ice cubes when mixed with a spirit and soft drink! Viruses can also survive in ice cubes, so our food borne illness leader, the noroviruses (the famous Norwalk virus), can wreak havoc in the frozen crystals.

What causes the health risk?

Did you know that microbial growth can cause biofilm (or ‘slime’) build-up inside commercial ice-making machines? Biofilm slime and mould can spread disease.

What are biofilms?

Biofilms are a collection of microorganisms, mainly bacteria, growing together in a matrix of polymers secreted by the microorganisms. Once microbes grow into well-developed biofilms, cleaning and sanitation become much more difficult.

Just running the cleaning cycle on your machine is not enough.

Cold Control can remove and manually clean biofilm from the parts that automated cleaning doesn’t reach.

What about ice machine performance?

If you live in an area where your water is rich in minerals, commonly termed ‘hard water’, especially slime build-up can seriously decrease the speed of your ice production and increase energy consumption. A large number of ice machines serviced by repair companies just need a good clean.

A regularly scheduled preventative maintenance service can keep your machine running at maximum efficiency.

How often should ice machines be cleaned?

If you make your own ice, your machine must be properly maintained and sanitary, and your water source must be safe. You are ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of your customers.

The UK Environmental Health Department also recommends that users of commercial ice-making machines follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and sanitising the machines.

One machine or many, Cold Control can clean your commercial ice machines upon request or can arrange a convenient preventative maintenance plan that will make maintaining your ice machines effortless, instead of a constant worry. Call us on 0333 305 0573 to discuss your options.


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