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Ice Machines and the Dangers of Poor Maintenance

As summer is now upon us, it is important to ensure that your catering and bar equipment is working to the highest standards, in particular ice machines, with more customers now choosing to wine and dine outdoors in the hot weather.

Believe it or not, it has been discovered amongst catering and bar operations that ice machines are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance, but ice machines actually require frequent care.

This can be unfortunate for establishments that have previously failed to notice this, as contaminated ice is a health issue that is included on sanitation reports carried out by the Health Department.

Especially now the warmer months are here, it is absolutely essential that any catering or bar operation has a fully working ice machine that is clean and ready for daily use, just like any other food appliance.

Shockingly, some caterers are unaware of the dangers of not carrying out regular cleaning on ice machines, which include bacterial diseases and food poisoning, and could potentially see the growth of limescale and slime-forming bacteria.

If you have an ice machine that is kept within a kitchen and resides next to cooking equipment, it may be even more vulnerable to bacterial growth and must be cleaned even more regularly than a machine that takes its place within a bar operation.

Another reason why regular maintenance of your ice machine is important, particularly at this time of year, is to ensure that it doesn’t break down during this busy period when it will be used frequently.

Adding to the problem of poor maintenance is that some caterers do not fully understand the importance of how to correctly perform the task of thorough cleaning of an ice machine, and often ignoring the fact that ice machines regularly need a proper maintenance check along with other foodservice equipment.

To help you to ensure that your ice machine meets the highest standards possible and is safe for use, TAG have put together a few tips you may want to take note of:

  • Use chemicals that have been approved by the manufacturer – Using improper chemicals can damage the metal surfaces and other materials of the machine
  • Clean your ice machine between two to four times a year – If you use it quite often you may want to clean it even more regularly than that
  • Replace parts regularly – It is recommended that you change the filter at least every six months to improve the performance and extend the life cycle of the machine
  • Find a preventative maintenance partner – Finding a good parts provider allows maintenance to be quick and simple, allowing you to focus on the important things

TAG offer service and maintenance of catering equipment, including ice machines, and provide a trusted and reliable partner for your business.

Contact us on 01920 877007 to find out how we can help you with maintenance for your commercial kitchen.