Monthly Archives: September 2015

  1. How do you Purify your Water?

    Water PurificationThere are plenty of ways that you can purify the water that goes into your patron’s drinks. For commercial purposes, you want to use one of the water filter systems which attaches right onto the pipes. In fact, this is probably required by your local health code! Dirty water leads to dirty ice. While tap water might be clean, if your water isn't purified you'll end up with cloudy cubes.

    For home use, you can get clean water by using a point of use water filter. Think about this like a filter that’s attached right to the tap. The reduction of contaminants is impressive, with many of them reducing 99.99% of all pathogens, volatile organic compounds, and other items. No more chlorine!

    You can even filter the water that you get while you’re on the road. There are bottles which are designed to make sure that the drinker gets exactly the water that they need – something clean, pure, and tasty.

    Water purification is a big problem around the world. There are several organizations and individuals who are pushing towards new and cheaper purification methods. Maybe we'll see some of these new technologies filter their way into the ice machine space over the next few years. Ceramic filters anyone?

  2. Chicken Recall Due to Bad Ice Machine

    Poultry RecallHoly cow! Or should we say ‘holy chicken!” Sanderson Farms has had to recall over half a million pounds of chicken because it was fouled with metal shavings. Not only that, but during the production run, the ice machine malfunctioned, causing the chicken to be shipped with less than favorable temperatures.

    Officials aren’t sure how the meat was tainted with the shavings. These boxes were set to go to Georgia and Louisiana. There were warnings of this tainted meat issued to customers and they were asked to bring any chicken related illness to the attention of Sanderson Farms as well as seek medical attention.

    The ice machine factors into the equation because chicken is packed in ice to make sure that it stays fresh during the trip to the customers. Keeping the poultry cold is of high priority, because the warmer the temperature, the more likelihood that the meat will become contaminated with bacteria.

    Fortunately, all of this was caught in time, and the meat packing plant chose to do the recall voluntarily. There has been a hotline set up for those who have concerns about food processing issues. Call between 10-4 Eastern time to receive live instruction, though there is recorded information available 24/7.

  3. Grime in the Ice Machine

    GrimeWe’ve been reading the restaurant reports again. This time, we’re taking a closer look at a couple places in Denver who had scads of violations from their unannounced health inspections. There were a combination of things contributing to the terrible health inspection, but mostly it was a result of not cleaning and maintaining the equipment.

    “There was excessive grime and dirt on the ice chute in the ice machine,” said the inspector. The inspector also noticed that there were hundreds of dead flying insect carcasses on a sticky trap hanging over that ice machine. Does this go back to the concept that restaurant owners might not view ice to be food?

    That ice could have been used to chill some of the items which had temperature violations. When food isn’t being kept at the right temperatures, the door is opened for contamination and the introduction of bacteria and other pathogens. Restaurant owners definitely don’t want to make the perfect breeding ground for these little critters.

    Ice machines are fairly easy to clean and maintain. It’s just a matter of reading the owner’s manual and bending down to do the work. Cleaning and sanitation goes a very long way – both of which should be done at least once a week to keep on track.

  4. Does Ice Selection Drive your Choice of Convenience Store?

    Convenience StoreWe have one person at the office who has admitted it, and there are most likely several more. They will go to a convenience store specifically for the ice that they serve out of their ice machine and dispenser. You see, they’re absolute fanatics about the nugget ice that they can get.

    Now, the crazier part is that there are distinct differences between the nugget ice. One nugget ice cube dispenser is not like the other one, if it’s from a different brand. Most of the customers that go into the store will just know that there are differences in the crunchability, but those who are in the ice game can tell the difference between Scotsman and Follett ice machines.

    Mom and Pop convenience stores everywhere know this, and try to add a little bit of customization to their selection. There’s something enticing about getting the right type of ice, or being able to find 16 brands of jerky within the store. We’ve been saying all along that it’s the little things which attract people to specific convenience stores. For some, it’s pristine bathrooms. For our coworker, it’s ice.

    Are there certain things which will drive you to one convenience store over another? What makes something stand out in your eyes?

  5. The Importance of Shocking Produce for Freezing

    ShockingWe just passed the first day of fall, and that means farmers and gardeners will be in a rush to get their harvest in before the end of October when the first frosts hit and kill their plants. This is the time for major food preservation, whether that is canning, pickling, or freezing produce.

    Freezing produce is one of the most cost-effective and best preservation techniques there is, and yes, you will need some ice to do it. If you are going to freeze vegetables then you will need some ice. Why? Ripening. They will continue to ripen if you don't stop the process.

    The way to do that is to blanch and shock the plant. Say you're doing string beans. First, remove the string, then plunge the beans into a pot of boiling water. When the water returns to boil, the beans then must go into an ice bath. This very quick cook followed by rapid cooling will stop the ripening process while still preserving flavor and freshness.

    Once this is done, dry off the produce by letting it sit on a towel, then package the beans for freezing. Be sure to remove as much air as you can from the packaging. This prevents the formation of ice crystals which cause freezer burn. Freezer burn ruins the taste and texture of frozen goods. All foods will eventually develop it, but when packaged correctly it can take a year for it to form.

    If you've got a big freezer, start filling it with the bounty of the season. Crank up your home ice maker and get to packing!

  6. Legionnaire's Breaks Out in VA Home

    BacteriaLegionnaires’ Disease is a serious affair, especially when you’re looking at an outbreak happening at the Illinois Veterans Home. Recently, the director of Veteran’s Affairs came out and spoke about the outbreak.

    Erica Jeffries recently spoke about the Legionnaires outbreak at Quincy. 12 people have died, and 45 people have been diagnosed with the disease. In response, the director has been focusing her efforts on prevention. It is a water-bourne disease, so the water systems at the Veterans Home have been flushed.

    Since August 21st, people at the Illinois Veteran’s Home have been flushing the water system, sanitizing water tanks and cooling towers. They have also taken the time and effort to clean out and sanitize the ice machines and put filters on the showers. Their highest priority is to the safety of their residents.

    There haven’t been any new cases of Legionnaire’s Disease reported over the past day. Hopefully, the people there can move on their way to recovery and leave the incident behind them. Ms. Jeffries has said that this has been a learning experience for everyone involved, and that with each crisis something new is learned in the process.

  7. Over a Hundred Sickened due to Ice Machine

    Harmful ContaminantsWe all love the feeling of having a new ice machine at our facilities. Seeing the machine, whether it’s a Scotsman ice machine or a Hoshizaki ice machine, perform at its best is a sight to behold. To keep it running, the biggest priority is to make sure that it’s well maintained and cleaned – as has been proven again and again that contaminated ice can cause problems for everyone, from schoolchildren to the elderly.

    Anyone who consumes ice from a contaminated machine runs the risk of getting sick. It's a serious problem. More than 100 people recently got sick in the Caymans from food poisoning and one of the possible causes is the ice machine.

    There has been an ongoing investigation into the cause of this outbreak, and it was found that the ice machine itself was in poor condition. There was also a small refrigeration leak. If liquid water can collect in an ice bin that is a sure route for a fast infection in there. Others say that there were possible food infections and other environmental concerns. The ice machine, needless to say, has been taken offline and put out of use.

    Cleaning and maintenance of ice machines becomes ever more important. The bacteria and slime which can form on the inside of the machines are nothing to be trifled with.

  8. Hospital Denying Patients Ice?

    Follett Ice MakerHospital ice. We never really thought about the costs of hospital ice and hospital ice machines until we read this article about a hospital in Cambridge denying ice to its patients to save money. The hospital itself blamed budget cuts on the need to eliminate ice from water jugs that are given to patients.

    So, patients are no longer able to get ice in their water jugs, even though having that ice helps the medicine go down. Will the Follett Nugget ice machine at the end of the hall go by the wayside? There are plenty of people who aren’t so sure that the removal of ice from the water jugs was a great move.

    A visitor to the hospital was left horrified and gobsmacked when she was told that a patient in the hospital couldn’t have ice. Someone who was undergoing cancer treatment. “Wards need to call patient catering and it is issued on a bag by bag basis. We are looking at how we save money across the trust. Currently 39,000 per year is spent on ice in water jugs,” said a spokesman of the hospital.

    We hope that those money-saving policies aren’t implemented here. Here in the States, it’s about the little things for patients. Patients who have elective surgery can choose the hospital that they wish to go to, and the availability of patient ice might just make the difference.

  9. The Manitowoc ID-0322A SPA-160 Hotel Ice Machine

    ID-0322A-SPA-160Hotel ice machines are the tireless workers in the hotel. They’re consistently providing ice to guests, day or night, and with the proper attention and maintenance, they can run for a very long time. Today, we’re going to talk about a Manitowoc hotel ice machine, the ID-0322A SPA-160.

    This ice machine is a little marvel, producing and dispensing up to 335 pounds of ice per day, perfect for a long floor of guests. Remember that there’s the possibility that not all of your guests will want ice, and if they do, they won’t want it at the same time. Since it produces more than 10 pounds of ice per hour, you’re doing very well.

    Add to that the special chute that was created just for this machine, and you don’t lose much of the ice that you receive to the hotel’s floor (an irritating cleanup). Just the way that the machine was designed makes sure that your machine is as clean as it possibly can be, resisting fingerprints, corrosion, and dirt.

    The machine fits in small spaces, which means that you can get your ice machine into the daintiest of nooks. It’s easy to read whether there are issues going with it, too. Easy maintenance and components that make it easy to clean… what more could you ask for from a hotel ice machine?

  10. What Makes an Ice Machine ADA Compliant?

    ADA15IMB-00The Americans with Disabilities Act has been a savior for the rights of disabled people. It mandates many improvements to equipment and buildings to allow handicapped people to have the same access as non-handicapped people, among other provisions. Some restaurant equipment is certified to be ADA-compliant including ice makers.

    What makes an ice maker ADA compliant? Let's take a look at the U-Line ADA15IMB-00 as an example. This machine is quite small at only 32” high and just shy of 15” wide. The machine opens from the front. The small dimensions make it easy for someone in a wheelchair to get ice from the ice maker.

    This ice maker would be a great addition in a home. It needs no drain line and only holds 25 pounds of ice, which is more than enough for most homes. The style of ice it makes is crescent ice. The advantage of crescent ice is that you can pack more cubes in a smaller space. Also, it is energy efficient. It uses less energy than a 75-watt light bulb!

    Finally, this U-Line model is certified to be ADA-compliant. People who cannot reach very high or very low should be able to get ice from this machine with ease. Ice Machines Plus has a range of ADA compliant ice machines. Take a look at our full range at this link.

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