Danger! Not Cleaning Soft Serve and Ice Machines

Two of the most neglected food service areas are the soft serve machine and the restaurant ice machine.

It is not uncommon to find pest debris in both of them, which can cause major health issues for your customers. Cleaning these needs to be a priority!

I know it sure was a common thing at the national fastfood joint that I worked at when I was in my early 20s. I won’t mention their name but let’s just say this place serves the unsuspecting public processed soybean patties and fries that were cooked up in frier oil that probably never gets changed, except when the health inspector makes them. That could be why their logo looks like 2 giant yellow plastic limp french fries.

An easy way to BEAT your local global chain competition:

How exactly do you make sure that your sundry equipment is spotless? If you are like most of our customers, you already do this. Local restaurants far surpass the cleanliness standards of national chains. This is because their owners actually care unlike their counterparts who are managed from a large corner office in a skyrise 4 states away.

Now I’m going to guess that most of my readers already don’t serve this frozen antifreeze that many national chains fraudulently label as ice cream. You serve real ice cream. That is one of the many reasons why I would choose to frequent your establishment instead of a national brand if I lived in your town.

This cleaning method described below would still apply to you because it also applies to ice machines and frozen yogurt machines – well as those fake ice cream scam machines. There are four steps to commercial sundry equipment hygiene.

Expected time: 1 hour

Step 1: Empty your machines and disassemble them.

Step 2: Inspect specific components.

Step 3: Proceed with soaking and scrubbing.

Step 4: Reassemble, and pat dry.

Step 1: Empty Your Machines & Disassemble Them

The first step for both of these machines is to turn them off and empty them out. That means cleaning out the ice cream from the ice cream machine and removing the ice from the ice machine. The ice cream machine will need to have the blades removed. Disassemble both machines as best you can then flush them out with water a few times.

Step 2: Inspect Specific Components

Depending on your machines, you will have specific components that you want to inspect. Inspect all parts that are removable to make sure that they are intact (and not loose or rusting). The ice cream machine, for example, has dispensing handles that need to be removed and soaked. The ice machine has air filters that need to be inspected.

Check the water filtration process of your ice machine. Inspect the evaporator, water sensors, thermistors, hoses, and reservoirs.

Step 3: Proceed With Soaking and Scrubbing

Once you have flushed and inspected all parts, it is time to sanitize your machines with basic soap, water, and a cleaning agent that disinfects. If your machines have a wash setting, cycle the soapy water inside it with this setting on. Use a soft sponge to scrub out the interior of both machines. Then rinse them with hot water.

You can also choose to add a teaspoon of bleach to kill any remaining germs after you have washed the machines. Just remember to flush them out a few times afterwards.

Step 4: Reassemble, and Pat Dry

Reassemble your machines, and pat all areas that you soaked and scrubbed dry. It is important to run your ice machine twice before customer use and to do a few test cones with your new ice cream mixture in case any chemical taste remains. Ideally, you should clean both machines once weekly, although this can be dialed down to once every ten days if your usage is not high.

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 — by David Linton, author of “Facility Hygiene Management & Maintenance: The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining a Safe and Sanitary Business”  This book gives you valuable insider tips from a leading expert on commercial facility hygiene who has inspected venues in the USA and abroad. With this new book, you can learn how to develop a customer-centric cleaning strategy that will help you win the battle against the big names among your competition. When you put the information in this just released book to work for you, your business will start to really shine.

If you have a small business and are competing with large corporations, it can seem like a hopeless, uphill battle just to keep the doors open, but this book with a new strategy to give your business a real boost. You can use the one area larger businesses consistently neglect to give your premises an impeccable reputation that will earn you rave reviews, an expanding base of satisfied customers and even happier employees. 

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