BBC’s Watchdog programme has found bacteria from faeces in ice in three top coffee shop chains.
Hubbard Systems, which markets the Scotsman range of ice machines, says it’s about time the industry cracked down on the poor hygiene practices that lead to the issue. “It’s not like we haven’t seen this before,” says Mark Stebbings, technical and aftercare manager at Hubbard Systems.
“Every year for as long as I can remember the issue comes up. And every year ice machine suppliers point out the simple measures that need to be taken to sort it out.”
So, the simple dos and don’ts for clean ice:
Keep hands clean - staff should always wash their hands before and during service.
Keep the machine clean – by following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Make sure you empty, clean and sanitise the storage bin on a regular, weekly basis.
Don’t pick up ice with your hands – use a scoop. Consider using a Guardian scoop, which will further protect the ice
If your machine is fitted with an anti-bacterial system, change the anti-bac bag every month.
Have a maintenance schedule for the components that need regular cleaning: it will help keep your equipment in peak condition.
“There are loads of online resources that can help anyone looking for guidance on cleaning ice machines, such as our ‘how to’ videos, which can be found in the video area at scotsman-ice.co.uk,” says Mark. “With all the information available, there’s simply no excuse for poor hygiene.”
Any operator who is concerned about a potential problem with their ice machine can use the 3M Clean ‘n Trace kit, available from many outlets including Hubbard Systems. The operator just swabs the area – in this case the inside of the storage bin – then pops the swab into a solution that will change colour to show if there is an issue with bacteria.
Hubbard Systems is the UK distributor for the market-leading Scotsman range, which is available via dealers nationwide. For more information on the full range of Scotsman ice machines, and details of local stockists.