The Importance of Ice Machine Maintenance

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In these hot summer months, maintaining your ice machines is a must. Many people mistakenly assume that ice machines are self-cleaning. However, in reality, they are machines that need to be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. People like cold, refreshing drinks, so having ice is critical for your customers. In the long run, this is an important factor in the overall success of your kitchen. Your customers expect your ice to be safe, taste good, and have enough to satisfy them. Without regular maintenance and cleaning, ice machines can cause numerous problems, including bacterial growth, buildup, and damage that can lead to costly repairs. A proactive approach to cleaning machines and scheduling routine maintenance can increase productivity downtown.

Why You Should Maintain Your Ice Machine:

According to the FDA, ice is actually classified as food. For this reason, the machines used to make this “food” should be maintained and cleaned just like other equipment in the food service industry. If you start neglecting this routine maintenance, health problems can occur. Ice machines can easily have visible bacterial and mold growth that can develop into what is called “biofilm slime.” This is a type of pink slime that is disgusting to look at and very difficult to remove once it is present.

When preventive maintenance of ice machines is neglected, the health of customers and staff is also at risk. Mold and bacteria can aggravate asthma attacks and other respiratory problems and irritate the throat and nose. If customers eat dirty ice from your machine, foodborne illnesses can become another problem. E. coli, salmonella, norovirus, etc. don’t die when frozen. Sanitation issues could result in illnesses for your loyal customers.

Because ice is classified as food, improper cleaning can end up being a major health code violation for your business. It becomes not just a risk for your customers, but for your reputation as well. Health code violations put your business at risk for significant fines or closure while the issue is being handled.

How to Maintain Your Ice Machine:

The key to having a clean and safe ice machine is to clean it whenever you have the chance to. Using a recommended sanitizer, flush the innards of your ice machine thoroughly. Without using any harsh chemicals, use soap and hot water to scrub inside and outside to ensure no more build-up is present. Be sure to rinse with hot water after scrubbing is done to ensure no more soap is noticeable as well.

To ensure problems don’t occur often, use these four steps to have a properly maintained ice machine at all times:

1. Inspect your ice machine – do this daily to check for build-up and slime.
2. Double-check cleaning – you might think the cleaning you conducted was thorough, but always double-check and have a superior check as well.
3. Increase frequency of cleaning – if cleaning once a month isn’t working, start cleaning once a week to ensure your ice machine is running properly.
4. Don’t ignore broken parts – ignoring issues with the equipment can cause more problems and maintenance costs down the road.

If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning it yourself or still not seeing progress, call Caspers Service Company today. Our well-trained planned maintenance (PM) technicians are here to help you clean and maintain your ice machine, as well as give you the knowledge to help ensure it always stays clean.  Rest assured, having scheduled PMs with Caspers Service Company will allow you to focus on other aspects of owning a restaurant while they handle the schedule for cleaning and maintenance.

For any parts and equipment failure, Caspers Service Company is equipped with a service team that is trained in repairing any ice machine. Call and they will fix the problem as soon as possible to ensure your business runs smoothly and efficiently. Don’t hesitate to contact Caspers Service Company for any of your ice maker needs.

About Casper’s Service Company:

Casper’s Service Company has over 45 years of experience keeping your restaurant in peak condition. Their skilled technicians provide comprehensive service and are ready for any job – all at a competitive cost advantage. Services are customized for each customer, with Caspers parts, installation, design, equipment, and our new training program Caspers University. For any of your HVAC service needs, have your first call be Caspers Service Company!