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Recent News: Brown & Black Buildup in Restaurant Ice Machines

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Learn how commercial services and maintenance will keep your restaurant ice machine out of the nightly news.

You’ll want to schedule commercial services for your ice machine once you learn what the DHEC inspector found in many restaurants. According to the report, several ice machines in the area had brown or black buildup. And no, this problem wasn’t contained to a single location. At least three restaurants on West Church Street in South Carolina received health code violations.

Wonder what would cause this gross buildup? Here’s what you may find lurking inside a dirty ice machine:

A Science Project of Mold and Slime

If you want to grow mold and slime inside a science lab, you need two things: moisture and food. A restaurant, although much different than a lab, can easily provide both of these things. The ice machine has plenty of moisture, and if food particles contaminate the space, it’s only a matter of time before you see mold.

Mold shows up as black patches inside the ice machine. Slime, on the other hand, may appear as pink, green, or brown goo around the door seal and vents. Regularly cleaning your ice machine is the best way to prevent mold and slime growth.

A Visit to the Doctor for Salmonella

Sometimes dangerous bacteria and viruses can grow inside a dirty ice machine. Researchers have linked Salmonella, E. coli, and Norovirus outbreaks to restaurant ice machines. All three of these types of microbes can survive the freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, they can also cause severe gastrointestinal distress. 

Once again, the only way to avoid this health hazard is with routine thorough cleaning. Never store any bottles or scoops inside the ice machine. And always require employees to wash their hands after using the restroom or touching any food substances.

When was the last time you looked inside your ice machine? If you don’t want to end up on the health department’s naughty list, you should make sure to clean out the system on a set schedule. Wilson’s Refrigeration & Air knows a thing or two about ice machines. We offer both installation and repair services, and our maintenance plan will ensure your machine is always sanitary. Get in touch with us to book commercial services to keep your ice machine free of black and brown buildup.

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