When you own a bar or restaurant in Eugene, OR, your commercial ice machine gets a lot of use. The FDA requires that ice be treated like food, which means that ice machines need regular cleaning and maintenance. Believe it or not, one bad batch of ice can sicken your customers. Since restaurants rarely use an entire bin of ice before the ice machine makes more, that contamination can spread easily. That’s why it’s so important to keep your machines clean and well maintained—not to mention the fact that you could face up to $500,000 in fines.
Here’s an overview of commercial ice machine cleaning and maintenance.
Cleaning your commercial ice machine
Commercial ice machines in Eugene, OR should be thoroughly cleaned two to four times each year. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations for their suggestions, but keep in mind that if your ice machine produces large volumes of ice, or your water quality is less than stellar, you may need to clean it even more frequently. If your ice machine is placed near a cooking line, it will probably need to be cleaned once per month. When it comes to health and safety, you can’t be too careful.
The FDA has a number of regulations in place for handling ice and ensuring that it is as sanitary as possible. Keep in mind that contaminated ice will not only expose you to fines from the FDA, but your business may be held liable if it’s responsible for making people sick.
Cleaning commercial ice machines involves thoroughly sanitizing each part. You’ll need to unplug it and pull out all of the removable components, sanitize them and remove any mineral buildup in the machine. You should also clean the outside. Once you’re finished with the cleaning process, run a normal cycle at least once to get rid of any residual cleaning agents.
Ice machine maintenance
In addition to cleaning your machine, you’ll need to replace the filter at least once every six months, or as needed. You may need to change it more often if the filter has a hard time keeping up with the water quality or volume of ice produced. The filter helps prevent mineral scale and removes sediment, odors and unpleasant flavors from the water. If you don’t replace the filter in time, your ice will start looking cloudy and taste unpleasant.
It’s also smart to schedule general ice machine maintenance one to two times per year. Working with refrigeration professionals like American Refrigeration Inc. makes it easy. Our maintenance contractors will check and repair all of your commercial ice machine’s components, including machinery, hoses, valves, seals and other parts. If anything looks like it’s worn out or is about to malfunction, we can fix it. After all, your bar or restaurant can’t afford to be without ice for long.
Taking care of your commercial ice machine in Eugene, OR is simple: just call American Refrigeration Inc. today. We’re happy to help you repair and maintain all of your commercial refrigeration products, whether preventative or on an emergency basis.