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Fountain Ice MachineYour restaurant or bar probably has an ice machine, which means you know how frequently ice is served in beverages and used in the process of food preparation. Because ice is such a staple, it's important that the ice machine is cleaned regularly. This not only helps you serve food and beverages that are safe to consume, but also helps the machine run more efficiently.

You take the time to keep the kitchen and/or bar area clean and tidy, so you should also take the same care with your ice machine. Work a cleaning schedule into the rotation of duties. There are numerous ice machine models on the market, so keep the instruction manual handy for the specifics on your machine.

Depending on the model, ice machines have varying recommended cleaning schedules. Additionally, ice machines with more moving parts (such as flaker machines) may require some disassembly for thorough cleaning. But all machines will need to be rid of scale that builds up over time. If left uncleaned, scale can reduce the machine's capacity or result in longer harvest times.

While following the instructions will provide the most detailed information, here are some guidelines for cleaning ice machines.
  • Dump all ice and scrub the machine's storage bin with the recommended cleaning solution. You may also be instructed to scrub the water system.
  • Inspect the machine for scale, mold or clogs that can be removed to improve performance and safety.
  • Depending on your machine, various parts may need to be inspected and cleaned. These may include the air filters, thermistors, water sensors, hoses, water valves, evaporators, water distribution parts, cube sizing controls and the reservoir.
  • Follow the instructions in regards to sanitizing the machine after you've thoroughly cleaned it. Food safety is of the utmost importance in restaurants and bars.
  • After each cleaning, dispose of the first batch of ice to ensure that traces of cleaning solutions are not served to customers.
Need protection for your valued equipment? Call Fleming & Riles Insurance at (800) 436-2408 for more information on the ice machine insurance policies we offer.
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