How Often Should a Commercial Ice Machine Be Cleaned? Info About Commercial Refrigeration Services in Panama City, FL

January 11, 2018 11:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations for ice just like it does with food and drugs. Ice must be stored and handled like food, meaning ice machines must be regularly cleaned to comply with those regulations.

According to food law, ice machines must be cleaned and sanitized at the frequency specified by the manufacturer, which means ideally four times a year (once every three months), but a minimum of twice a year (once every six months). Depending on how much you use the machine, where it’s located and the conditions of the water in your area, you might need to clean it even more often, sometimes as much as once a month.

During cleanings, the entire unit should be emptied and sanitized so you can completely remove lime, mineral and scale deposits, as well as any mold or other gunk that has built up.

Here are the general steps that professional commercial refrigeration services in Panama City, FL will perform during your routine ice machine cleanings:

  • Remove all ice: The first step is to open up the door and remove all ice from the evaporator. You cannot properly clean an ice machine when there is still ice inside of it. You can either press the power switch once a harvest cycle is complete, or press the power switch and allow the ice to fully melt before you begin the cleaning process.
  • Press “clean” or “wash” depending on the settings: At this point, water will flow through the dump valve and down the drain. Once the trough refills, you will be able to add chemicals. Add the proper amount of cleaning solution as described in the instructions.
  • Remove parts: After the clean cycle is finished (this usually takes 20 minutes or so), disconnect power to the machine and dispenser and then begin removing parts for individual cleaning.
  • Clean components and parts: Mix up a solution of the cleaner and lukewarm water using the ratio outlined in your machine’s manual. The solution will foam up when it comes into contact with mineral deposits. Once the foaming settles down, you can use a soft nylon bristle brush, a cloth or a sponge to clean all parts and components carefully. Everything except the ice thickness probe can be soaked if it is heavily scaled. Then, when done cleaning, rinse everything with water.
  • Clean the machine: Clean all food zone surfaces of the ice machine, as well as the dispenser and bin. Again, make sure you are using the proper mixture of cleaner and water. Rinse all areas with clean water when done scrubbing.
  • Sanitize: Use sanitizing solution to fully sanitize the machine and all of its parts. Do not rinse the parts with water after sanitizing—your sanitizer should be a no-rinse formula.
  • Clean the exterior: Finish by cleaning the exterior of the machine to maintain cleanliness and aesthetics.

For more information about cleaning your ice machine, contact us today to learn about our commercial refrigeration services in Panama City, FL.

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