An ice maker, or ice machine, is an essential piece of equipment in a restaurant. Along with helping to serve customers cold drinks, ice is often used in the kitchen to cool down foods that the cooks prepare. Proper maintenance is necessary to make sure that ice is safe for human consumption so here are four tips for keeping an ice machine in good condition.
Clean Ice Machine Regularly
An ice machine needs regular cleanings to ensure that the ice it produces is safe for human consumption. Routinely inspect the machine for slime, scum, or mould, especially inside of the machine. If it is found, clean out the ice, clean the machine, and sanitise it.
After sanitising an ice machine, run two cycles of ice, getting rid of them both before using a third cycle for food and drinks. A quick way to get rid of ice is to pour buckets of hot water on it to melt the ice rapidly and get rid of soap or sanitiser residue.
Regularly inspect the outside of the ice machine to make sure that the handle, door, and latch are in good repair and clean. Also, check the taps and hoses connecting the machine to its water source. Make sure that they are in good condition and repair or replace them if they are damaged.
Clean the door seal and if it is loose or damaged, replace it as it can allow contaminants into the ice bin. If your ice machine does not have a commercial water filter, add one and change the filters at least twice a year.
An ice machine needs proper ventilation to work efficiently and prevent mould growth. If necessary, move the machine where it isn’t subject to high levels of heat and/or humidity. If it can’t be moved, ask a company that sells Manitowoc ice machines in Perth about how to keep it cool to prevent condensation, which leads to mould growth.
Teach Proper Handling
Every employee who would have access to the ice machine needs to be taught how to handle ice, especially if he or she is responsible for serving drinks. Employees shouldn’t use their hands to handle ice; they should only use an ice scooper. The handle of the scooper is the only place where employees should touch it and it needs to be kept outside of the ice bin in a clean container.
Do not use glass containers to scoop ice because a container could shatter, which means removing all the ice immediately to prevent serving ice shards in drinks. The door of the ice machine should always be kept closed to avoid contaminants from accidently getting into the ice and to keep it at its proper temperature. Also, do not store any foods or drinks in the ice.
Following these tips will keep your restaurant from getting health code violations if the ice machine is inspected and is dirty or has any mould or slime around it. It will also help ensure that the ice the machine produces is safe for serving to your customers.