A guide to the safe production and service of ice and soft drinks

Ice can very easily become contaminated with bacteria, some of which can cause food poisoning. It is therefore important that ice cubes and the water they are made from are safe to consume.

Recent sampling of ice and water from commercial premises has indicated that a significant percentage may be contaminated with bacteria that may cause harm if consumed. In many premises, the soft drinks dispenser head may also be contaminated with bacteria, yeasts and moulds.

Contamination of ice, water and soft drinks can be avoided by following these simple guidelines:

  • Place ice machines in a clean environment away from sources of contamination.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect ice machines and scoops and allow them to dry before re-use.
  • Always follow the manufacturers instructions for installation, cleaning and servicing.
  • Always use clean, plastic or stainless steal utensils.
  • Never touch ice cubes with your hands bacteria and dirt on hands will easily transfer onto the ice cubes.
  • Never use glass vessels to scoop ice from machines or buckets.
  • Customers should not serve themselves as they may introduce contamination to the ice cubes.

Food Handlers

  • Always maintain high standards of personal cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Staff should be given adequate training and instruction in safe food handling practices.
  • Never put the safety of foods at risk through bad hygiene practices.
  • Ensure convenient access to a washbasin provided with hot and cold (or appropriately mixed) running water, suitable hand washing and hygienic hand drying materials.

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