News

  1. Is Your Bartender Judging You?

    BartenderWe found out in a story posted on NBCNews.com (who sourced their information from Reddit) that bartenders believe that you are what you drink. Yes, your bartender could be judging  you based on your drink order. Here's some of the things they revealed.

    If you tell the bartender to "make it a strong one", then you’re in for an interesting night. The bartender will view you as being cheap and annoying. If you want more alcohol, order a double instead and be prepared to pay for a double, and don't second guess the bartender's skills.

    If you’re getting up and ordering a Midori sour, then you’re viewed as a lightweight and possibly underage. However, if you order a strong drink like a Manhattan, you might be seen as someone who just wants to get drunk quickly. 

    Of course we all have judgments about particular types of customers in our jobs, so don't let their opinions bother you too much. But if you want to get into the good graces of a bartender, compliment them on their skills and tip well. If you can see down the underside of the bar, check out their undercounter ice machine and other equipment. Do they use them well? Tip them more! A consistent tipper will get extra service, and maybe even some extra alcohol in a drink or two down the road.

  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. 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.

  4. Houston School Ice Machine Troubles

    Rusty ScrewIce is food. Ice bins, therefore, store food.

    In a lot of places, ice machines and their ice bins are treated as if they are simply storage areas and not storing food which comes in contact with eager diners. In this case, we’re going to talk about ice machines and ice bins at elementary schools.

    Texas recently had a bout of inspectors go through the Houston school cafeterias, making sure that the policies, procedures, and practices of the places were safe. The inspectors were charged with issuing violations based on the level of severity that was displayed.

    One of the ice machines in an elementary school had a rusty screw inside. This rust could have contaminated the entire batch of ice, as well as infecting the kids who go to the school. Fortunately, it was caught by the inspector, who requested that the violation be fixed before he moved on.

    Another school had orange residue inside of the ice machine. It’s not clear whether it’s the color of the residue, or the residue was from a fruit. In either instance, however, the residue needed to be removed from the school cafeteria ice machine.

    We’ll be talking more about the guidelines necessary to pass health inspections a little bit later in the week.

    Here is the full story about ice machine violations in the Houston Chronicle.

  5. Hospital Donates Old Ice Machine to Clinic in Africa

    When new hospitals open, there is usually a lot of equipment that’s left over in the old building. There are decisions which need to be made about that old equipment, including perfectly working ice machines. Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood, WV did very well by its peers and to its mission by donating some of the equipment to a hospital in West Virginia and a clinic in Ghana.

    The Webster County Memorial Hospital was the beneficiary of this equipment, as their own equipment was damaged by flooding. Preston Memorial just had it on hand, and knew that the other hospital needed that type of equipment. “When we caught word that Webster County Memorial was in need of some items that were lost, it was easy to decide where the best use and utility of the items would be,” Gessler, VP of Financial Services at Preston Memorial, said.

    The clinic in Ghana will be receiving equipment and clothes which are vital to the operation of their acute care clinic. “My primary goal with the clinic is to take care of acute cases and emergency cases. There’s malaria and other tropical diseases, high blood pressure, colds, TB, snake bites, insect bites, and cuts from farming accidents.” It’s quite the blessing that the clinic will be receiving these goods.

    Praise goes out to the Preston Memorial Hospital for their donation of an ice machine. We hope that the ice machine does everything that it needs to do, that it works well for those who need it.

  6. Shaved Ice Perfect for Summer

    Shaved Ice

     

    What do entrepreneurs do when they’re facing excruciating heat with temperatures rising off the charts? They think of ways that they can capitalize on that to make money for their new business. Kirk Powell figured that a shaved ice shop would be just the thing for the summer.

    Opportunity knocks, of course. When you have the ability to serve a town with shaved ice since there’s no Dairy Queen, what better way to do it? “The first few weeks have been awesome. Business has been really good. It’s been better than I expected. I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s such a small town, so you never know. I think people miss Dairy Queen. If Dairy Queen was still around I wouldn’t be doing as well.”

    Honestly, though, when you’re able to offer different products to your people and those products knock it out of the park? That’s where people shine. It’s not about just the name, it’s about the quality that one possesses. And, if you’re selling shaved ice, one can get an ice shaver and some large cubes, then go to town.

    Powell expects to have his food truck in town soon, so that will hopefully make for more sales all around. What would you do with a shaved ice machine, a hot summer, and some space?

  7. 90% of American Beer Made by 11 Companies

    Beer CompaniesThe number of craft breweries is rising, but a good portion of beer (up to 90%) is being made, bottled, packaged, and distributed by the large giants. The large commercial breweries are snapping up the little guys like it’s nobody’s business, because they see the huge potential for craft beers and beer which seems to be bottled independently. Craft beers provide the opportunity for experimentation, but the large places give the distribution routes.

    For the one who is getting about half of the space in every undercounter refrigerator, you don’t have to look any further than the beer brought to you by Anheuser-Busch/Inbev, who brings you such beers as Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois, Shock top, Johnny Appleseed Hard Cider, and many other malt beverages and brands. Up to 45% of the American market is run by these guys.

    Following Inbev, there’s MillerCoors. These guys are the ones who put Coors, Miller, Miller Light, Coors Light, Killian’s Irish Red, Red Dog, Foster’s, and Molson into bars everywhere. These guys are a distant second with only 26% of the market. This is one of the reasons that there’s a race to snap up some of the craft breweries which are around the country.

    Now, if you’ve got a kegerator and you’re wanting something different, you could go for the 3rd most popular brewery in the US: Heineken. These guys make Heineken, Newcastle, Tecate, and Strongbow Cider. They only control 4% of the market with their brands and other interests.

    Where do you think that the state of beer will be within the next several years? Do you think that the big guys are going to completely buy the little guys out and all you’ll see is monopolies? Or, do you think that the craft brewers will fight back and make even more inroads in the alcoholic beverage market?

     

  8. Listeria Outbreak Takes Out Blue Bell

    ListeriaA Fourth of July without Blue Bell ice cream? Unfortunately, it's happening. Blue Bell is in the middle of a massive recall of its ice cream after several people were infected with listeria. Listeria is a bacteria that's everywhere in our environment, and is extremely resistant to cold, and once established is terribly difficult to eliminate. People with weak immune systems can get flu-like symptoms or even meningitis in severe cases.

    Blue Bell has been making ice cream for over 100 years. This is their first major infection, and it's a doozy. All three of their production plants have been implicated in a listeria outbreak. The company is facing criticism of how they handled notifying people about the recall and their inspection practices. According to the news story, they tested areas of the factory that did not have direct contact with ice cream, and that inspection records showed that listeria was detected as early as 2013, which wasn't reported to the FDA.

    There's a very extensive report on the whole situation at Houston Press, which we encourage you to read. Restaurants can harbor listeria not just in dairy products, but also in their ice machines. Listeria is unaffected by cold and has a long incubation period. A little dirt on the hands, a cold ice machine, and just enough meltwater for survival and it can take hold inside of your equipment. Be sure to sanitize your machines regularly to stop this from happening!

  9. Store your Ice Scoops Right!

    Ice Scoop StorageToday’s discussion about ice machines comes from Texas.  We’re looking at some of the health reports that have come out involving ice machines and the things that people do to them.  There’s nothing that saddens us more than seeing an ice machine that takes away from a restaurant’s perfect inspection score.

    One restaurant in Yorktown received a score of 55 (out of 100) based on several demerits.  There was a note to the restaurant owner to ‘store ice scoop on clean, sanitized surface’ and ‘Clean the ice machine.’  That’s two demerits right there which could have been avoided if there had been proper sanitizing procedures taking place on a continuing basis. 

    Another, this one from Placedo, mentioned that the ice scoop should be kept on a clean, sanitized surface as well.  Ideally, the ice scoop should have its own holder outside of the ice machine, one which allows workers to simply scoop and drop the used scoop back into its holster.

    There were several violations which occurred at a Bloomington shop, one of which mentioned that they needed a manufacturer’s license to bag ice, but they also needed a three compartment sink for washing the ice scoop, tongs, and other materials. 

    It’s easy to take the ice machine for granted, as they are strong and last for many years, but they need to be cleaned. Most of all, the scoop needs to be stored properly, else mention of it ends up in health inspector’s reports. 

  10. Commercial Ice Machines Make Great Charitable Donations

    scotsman cu1526sa-1a When people give to charity, they think more about curing cancer, stopping dangerous diseases, and generally changing the world.  In reality, a lot of charity goes to the installation of ice machines, repairing buildings, and other practical things which make the lives of those who work to help others better. 

    Commercial ice machines make great charity items because they are not necessarily the first thing that people think about. The lack of that machine can be a sore spot for many organizations.  Let’s take a look at the Delaware Hospice. A local community-centered organization called the Rose Colored Lasses helped them out by donating money to their cause. 

    “Last year’s donation enabled the center to purchase a crushed ice machine for our patients,” said the Clinical Supervisor of Inpatient Services. 

    In 2011, Scotsman installed two nugget machines for the Community Kitchens in Birmingham.  These machines are put to good use helping the people who need them.  “The Community Kitchens of Birmingham is a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding and serving the hungry, homeless, and working poor 365 days a year.”

    The Mount St. Joseph Foundation recently gave the Mount Saint Joseph Nursing Home a blanket warmer and an ice machine.  These two pieces of equipment are absolutely vital to the comfort and well-being of the patients at the home, but without the help of the charity would not have been in place.

    When you think about charities and charity donations, think more about practical things which can be used.  Does your favorite hospice or care facility need an ice machine for the comfort of their patients?  

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