When it comes to your personal ice maker you have to always handle it with care.
A common misconception about ice is that because of its cold temperature, it is self-sufficient and can take care of itself, and this is not true.
What is true, is this:
- Viruses can live within your ice and ultimately cause foodborne illnesses.
- A number of viral infections can come as a result of improper ice handling such as E. coli, Norovirus, and Giardia.
- Utilizing proper hygiene practice makes for a great choice.
- Utilizing bad hygiene can have costly implications.
Keep this in mind: If your hands are dirty and you scoop out ice with your hands, you are potentially transferring your germs not only to your ice, but into your drink as well.
These germs can cause you to get sick and you may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sore throat, and nasal congestion, among other things.
It is common for people to get sick from utilizing improper practice, though they do not always know the cause.
Think About This:
The FDA denotes ice as a food. They note that ice should be handled with the same care as other foods that you consume.
Ice handling don’ts
- Ice should not be handled with unwashed hands
- Ice should not be handled with bare hands when you are sick
- Ice should not be handles with dirty ice scooping tools.
It can be said that in order to avoid contamination, personal hygiene and cleaning practices makes for a best practice
How To Avoid Contamination
There are many ways to avoid getting sick from ice consumption.
- One way is to keep sick persons away from the machine. This helps prevent the spread of germs from the ice making unit, storing equipment, and ice scooping tools.
- If you have a cut on your hand, note that it should be bandaged or covered with a glove before handling the ice within the machine.
- Bare hands should not be utilized to handle ice, as the use of tongs are a better choice.
- While utilizing your bare hands is not proper, if one must use their hands, a glove should be worn and the hands should be washed properly beforehand.
- Caution should be taken when handling ice machines and tools associated with its usage.
- Another thing you can do is to create a sanitation plan. This plan should be sure to include a cleaning schedule, and address each particular part of your ice machine unit. For instance, if your machine is located in a high traffic area, and is in an area more prone to food borne pathogens, than your cleaning should be done frequently.
When cleaning your machine, be sure to empty the contents of your ice machine. You can store the ice in a safe, clean plastic bag with the ice you need for a day’s consumption while you are cleaning your ice maker.
After you have dumped your machine, turn off the unit and empty your filter. Once done, start to cleaning your machine. Check your manufacturer’s instructions on what types of cleaners should be used when sanitizing your unit and be sure the cleaner is safe to use on your unit.
Most of the time, vinegar and water, or lemon and water are good, safe, and non-erosive solutions for cleaning the inside of your ice maker.
- While cleaning make sure you are getting underneath the gaskets, behind flaps, and other small areas within your machine.
- You can utilize a brush tool to get into the small areas and clean the dispensing area as well.
- Be sure to wash the tubing as well. Improper cleaning of the tubing can carry heavy consequences. These consequences can include contracting Pseudomonas which can be damaging to your health.
- While cleaning be sure to sanitize the overlooked ice-making portion of your unit.
In order to properly clean your machine, you will need to use the proper tools.
As mentioned before, a brush should be utilized to clean small corners like underneath the basket. Alongside a brush, utilize scrub pads to clean splash areas and other areas of the machine, and to get out tough buildup.
Cleaning should be done on a regular basis if you want to ensure safe production of ice within your unit. Every person within your home should learn the best practices for cleaning of the machine, and proper handling of ice to avoid contamination.
An ice machine is a great tool to utilize within your home. Ice can be produced fast, and can cool down your favorite drink.
When handling your ice, it is a great choice to use proper hygiene. Failure to wash your hands, or clean your machine can have costly implications.
Someone who is sick should never touch the machine with their bare hands and covering your cuts with bandages are always a great choice. One of the best keep secrets to keeping your machine safe is to wash your hands before usage.