THE HYGIENIC PRODUCTION, STORAGE AND SERVICE OF ICE
Most food poisoning organisms do not readily multiply in food below 8C.
However, scientific research has also shown that certain bacteria and viruses can survive freezing for many hours and can also remain capable of growth in very strong alcoholic drinks.
It is therefore important that ice does not become contaminated by airborne particles, food handlers or dirty utensils. The most likely sources of contamination of ice are inadequate cleaning of the ice making machine or equipment and poor hygiene practices when handling the ice.
In order to reduce the risk of ice being a big source of infection to customers staff working in, and the management operating, public house and restaurants should be aware of the following points.
The ice machine should be connected to a “direct” wholesome water supply i.e. not via a storage tank. The water used must meet drinking water standards.
The machine should be sited in an area that is free from dirt and dust, preferably off the ground and away from any sources of heat.
There should be sufficient space and ventilation around the machine to allow for efficient air movement.
Most manufacturers give servicing instructions in their information manuals. Most machines require servicing at least twice a year.
The ice storage compartment should be cleaned regularly, at least fortnightly, to prevent the build up of bacteria. It should be monitored for any growth of scum or slime and if such growths become apparent, it should be immediately cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice should be removed and the ice storage compartment cleaned and disinfected using appropriate food grade products. If appropriate this should be followed by a thorough rinse.
(2) The ice that has been removed from the machine to allow for cleaning should be disposed of and should not be returned to the ice machine.
(3) The exterior of the machine particularly the door/hatch of the ice storage compartment must be kept clean.
(1) The person dispensing ice from the machine should wash and dry their hands thoroughly before starting the task. The ice should always be removed from the machine using a clean utensil such as a scoop (hands should never be used). A glass tumbler is not suitable because of the risk of glass fragments being lost inside the machine in the event of the glass being chipped or broken whilst removing ice from the storage compartment.
(2) Both the scoop and the container it is stored in should be kept in a clean place. The scoop should not be left in the machine but stored in a container of sanitiser solution which should be regularly changed.
(3) The door/hatch of the ice making machine should be kept closed unless ice is being dispensed from the machine.
(4) The ice compartment of the ice machine should not be used for the storage of bottles of beer, cans of soft drinks, cartons of milk or any other items.
(5) If ice is stored in buckets lids should always be used. Ice buckets should always be kept behind the bar where staff alone can serve ice to avoid customers handling ice with bare hands. Any ice remaining in the ice buckets at closing time should be disposed of and should not be returned to the ice machine.
(6) Ice buckets, containers and serving utensils must be regularly cleaned and disinfected. It is recommended that either the dish washer or glass washer is used for this purpose.
Before proceeding with any cleaning operation ensure that the electrical power supply to the machine is switched off and that the water line is closed.