BBC programme, Watchdog, found that bacteria from faeces has been present in the ice used by three top coffee shop chains.
Hubbard Systems, which markets the Scotsman range of ice machines, said it’s about time the industry cracked down on the poor hygiene practices that lead to the issue. Mark Stebbings, technical and aftercare manager at Hubbard Systems, commented: “It’s not like we haven’t seen this before.” He added: “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, here are 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-bacterial bag every month.
- Have a maintenance schedule for the components that need regular cleaning; it will help keep your equipment in peak condition.
Mr Stebbings noted: “There are loads of online resources that can help anyone looking for guidance on cleaning ice machines.” He continued: “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 simply swabs the area – in this case the inside of the storage bin – and places the swab into a solution which will change colour to show if there is an issue with bacteria.