The sanitary handling of ice is an important aspect of creating a food-safe environment in your business. This is not only relevant for bar owners but also owners of restaurants or catering businesses.
Handling ice is a delicate issue. Taking the time to build an individual cleaning and maintenance routine as well as educating your staff on food safety, especially when handling fresh ice, is as important as purchasing food-safe equipment and accessories.
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF HANDLING ICE
Hygiene and food safety should not be left to chance and should follow professional guidelines.
To help you build your own clean-ice-routine, we have put together the most important Dos and Don’ts when handling your ice and your ice accessories. These guidelines are based on the
EU Rules regarding Food Hygiene, which cover all stages of the production, processing, distribution, and placing on the market of food intended for human consumption.
For additional Covid-19 related questions, the specific guidelines issued by the European Commission for food business operators are a good read.
- Properly wash hands before any direct or indirect contact with ice, ideally using hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds.
- At all times, hold the ice scoop by its handle and strictly avoid touching other parts of the scoop.
- Create designated and easy-to-reach spots to place your scoop, ideally on a stainless-steel tray or rubber mat with proper drainage.
- Change rubber mat with each shift.
- Pick scoops that are made of non-porous and washable materials with smooth surfaces, such as impervious plastic, fiberglass, or stainless steel.
- Only keep items around the ice chest and ice maker that are needed to scoop ice: the scoop and a tray or mat. Remove all other items.
- Optional: Carry out a routine microbiologic sampling of the ice and ice contact surfaces of the ice maker
- Don’t handle the ice with your hands.
- Don’t return unused ice back into the ice maker or bin.
- Don’t return unused ice back into the ice chest.
- Don’t store the ice scoop inside the storage bin or chest.
- Don’t expose your accessories to unnecessary contamination by keeping them away from floors, door handles, service charts, and other non-food contact surfaces at all times.
- Don’t place your ice maker within frequent walking routes. It is better to limit access to avoid unnecessary contamination.
- Don’t miss out on your daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning and maintenance routines.
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