It’s a scary thought.
Ice cubes can be contaminated with food poisoning bacteria.
Since ice produced by your ice maker will be consumed, the ice machine is considered a food contact surface area. Following manufacturer’s instructions, clean and sanitize it at least once a month. Cleaning will remove scale/lime build-up and other mineral deposits and sanitizing will remove algae and slime growth.
Many times, maintenance on ice makers is overlooked for more pressing tasks. There are a few simple procedures that can keep an ice maker functioning for much longer than when left alone.
Replace water filters every six months.
Water filters are extremely important to extending the life of your ice maker and should be replaced every six months. A water filter performs three tasks:
- Removes sediment from the water, keeping ice clean and clear in appearance
- Inhibits scale, which can build up in the machine over time and drastically reduce ice production
- Removes odor and bad taste
Although the filter may not appear to be blocked with sediment after six months, the scale inhibitor and carbon elements (which prevent odor and bad taste) are usually depleted and no longer effective.
Invest in antimicrobial protection.
Slime and mold growth are another concern with regards to ice makers. Many ice machines have antimicrobial protection built-in to the plastic used in the food-zone areas of ice production and are guaranteed to inhibit the growth of slime and mold for the life of the machine.
Sanitize your machine regularly.
By regularly changing the water filter and using antimicrobial protection, you are on the right path to keeping your ice machine in good working condition for longer, but there is still no substitute for regular cleaning.
Your ice machine should be emptied and thoroughly sanitized every six months. Clean the machine using a nickel-safe scale remover and an ice machine sanitizer. Additionally, condenser fins or air filters should be cleaned or replaced every six months. Failure to keep the condenser free from lint and grease build-up will decrease the machine’s ability to breathe and operate at peak capacity, thus reducing the ice production.
By taking the time every six months to clean your Ice maker and change filters and antimicrobial devices, you can greatly increase the life of your Ice maker and drastically decrease the chance of getting food poisoning.