Restaurant workers, have you ever seen pink slime in your ice machine? You probably have, but what is it exactly, and how do you stop it from happening?
Pink Slime In Ice Machines
If you open your commercial ice machine and see a pink slime or film on the interior walls, parts, or tubing you are well past needing to give your machine a good cleaning. The presence of pink slime, or more accurately, biofilm, means that the bacteria levels are at an aggressive level.
How Often To Clean Commercial Ice Machines
The manufacturer’s recommended cleaning schedule for commercial ice machines can be confusing. They recommend cleaning twice a year, but this is more to descale the machine, not to keep bacteria from growing.
To keep bacteria from being present in your ice machine parts and bin you need to clean it more often than just twice a year, but how often will depend on your environment.
For example, food establishments that cook fried chicken or bake fresh bread both have high levels of yeast in the air. Yeast can make its way into your ice machine and grow rampantly causing a need for more frequent cleanings.
How To Prevent Biofilm In Ice Machines
Biofilm happens when cells start to stick to each other and to surfaces causing a buildup of bacterial slime. It is best to keep your restaurant’s ice machine cleaning schedule up to prevent this dreaded pink slime from developing.
However, if you already have signs of biofilm it is important to do a deep clean. Consider hiring a professional ice machine cleaning service to insure it is completely clean, then be sure to start a more frequent cleaning schedule.
You can also consider adding water filtration and water sanitization devices to your ice machine. Water filtration systems can remove harmful minerals from the water. A sanitization device, such as our EcO3Ice device, uses ozone to kill off harmful bacteria throughout the entire ice machine process including everything from the tubing to the ice bin. Check out this blog for more information on the difference between water filtration and water sanitization devices.
Keeping your restaurant’s ice machines clean does more than just prolong the life of your machine. Remember, ice is a food product that you are giving to your customers. Don't let that pink film go unnoticed. If you have biofilm it must be addressed immediately for the safety of your customers. Keep your ice machines clean and your customers safe!