Recent alarming revelations on the BBC's Watchdog programme on contaminated ice has raised renewed focus on the importance of clean hands, sanitised tools and regular ice machine maintenance.
Ice machine manufacturer Hoshizaki believe one solution would be to install machines that dispense directly into a glass or container, ensuring no human contact with the ice.
Such units also avoid the problem of airborne bacteria entering the interior of the ice makers as the ice moves directly to the storage hopper the instant it is made, with no contact with light or air until it is dispensed.
Ambient air is also prevented from entering the hopper by a close fitting lid and rubber diaphragm on the dispense mechanism; and, a portion control setting makes regulating the quantity of ice dispensed a simple process which effectively reduces both energy consumption and waste.
The only day-to-day cleaning required for these machines is the sanitisation of the small dispensing area with all internal cleaning carried out under a normal maintenance contract.
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