Dirty Ice? There are 3 ways ice could make you sick:

The inside of an ice machine is constantly moist. Bacteria from the air lands on the moist surfaces and starts to grow. E. coli, salmonella, mycobacterium, legionella can all live on the machine and in the ice itself.

Fungi (Mold/Yeast)
Airborne spores from fungi can land on surfaces and grow colonies. Mold can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Yeast can cause infections in individuals with compromised immune systems. (read more about Mold vs Yeast here)

Water in an ice machine freezes on a nickel-plated surface which covers the cooling evaporator coils. Nickel is used because it is not porous and ice does not stick to it. The nickel can break down and flake off in the ice if not properly maintained. Ingestion of Nickel has been identified as a potential cause of dermatitis and other health problems according to the National Institutes of Health and the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. (Reference: Here)

What to do?
Routine, scheduled maintenance helps keep your ice machine clean. The BlueHat Mechanical planned maintenance program for ice machines recommends 2 thorough tear-down cleanings and 2 maintenance wipe-down cleanings each year. Ice machine cleaning is governed by Food Law 2009 Chapter 4 part 602.11 section (E) item (4a and b), which states that the machines must be cleaned “at a frequency specified by the manufacturer,” which in most instances ranges from two to four times per year, or “at a frequency necessary to preclude accumulation of soil or mold.” Want to know more?  Check out this awesome explanation of how commercial ice machines work>

More detail at: Food Safety Magazine – on the sanitation of ice making equipment.

Give us a call to schedule your ice machine cleaning today > 919-773-9223