As summer gets into high gear the ice experts at Hubbard Systems highlight the importance of keeping your ice machine safe and hygienic with a schedule of regular preventative maintenance.

Ice machines continually process water, which means they are at risk of becoming contaminated if not cleaned and maintained. High quality ice machines like the range from Scotsman include design features that help to keep them operating at peak efficiency.  However, it is vital to institute a schedule of maintenance and cleaning on a daily, weekly and monthly basis as well as regular visits from trained service engineers.

Ensuring staff are trained in how to use and maintain your ice machine is the foundation of maintaining ice hygiene. Regular training and refresher sessions should be scheduled to make sure staff knowledge remains fresh.

Ice machine maintenance tips

· The ice storage bin should be fully emptied and cleaned every couple of months. This will ensure that ice is kept in perfect condition until needed..

· The water filter cartridge should be replaced at least once a year, although depending on local water quality and usage levels this might need to be more frequent.

· After cleaning either the storage bin or changing the filter, the fresh water system should be flushed through before use to remove any residual contaminants.

· While a good quality water filter will dramatically reduce the build up of scale on the evaporator, if you have very hard water it may still occur. Removing scale from the evaporator will keep the ice being made as pure as possible.  This is usually a job for the service engineer.

· Check the evaporator for build up at the same time as you clean the storage bin. Ice with scale can look milky or cloudy.

· The air filters can often be overlooked in maintenance schedules, but should be cleaned regularly to guarantee the machine’s cooling capacity is working at optimum efficiency.

Ice handling tips

·  Correct handling technique is vital so ice reaches customers in peak hygienic condition. Make sure ice never gets touched with bare hands and is only removed with a scoop.

· The scoop itself should be only stored in a tub of sanitiser between uses, not left on top of the machine or in the ice storage bin.

· As well as this they should ensure that it is never contaminated by foreign bodies like bottle tops or labels.  If glass enters the storage bin it’s vital that it is emptied and cleaned thoroughly.

Looking after ultraviolet sanitising systems

Ultraviolet sanitation systems have become increasingly common in ice machines since the pandemic. They provide an extra level of security by using the natural power of UV light to destroy viruses and bacteria, preventing the growth of mould, mildew, slime, and stopping odours.

The XSafe system is one of the key safety features fitted as standard on the Scotsman range of ice machines. Unlike many other UV systems it is capable of working throughout the machine, even in a storage bin filled with ice.

Over time the effectiveness of the UV lightbulb reduces, and as the XSafe system runs constantly Hubbard Systems recommends getting it changed every 12 months. This will ensure the bulb and the XSafe system is always working at its full potential.

Arranging for a qualified engineer to regularly service your ice machine can take a lot of the guesswork out of these regular maintenance tasks. The dealer or retailer who supplied the machine should be able to help, either by providing service themselves or by recommending a third party. If in doubt, Hubbard System’s sister company HTG Service can provide service for the full Scotsman range and most popular makes of ice machine.

For specialist advice on looking after your ice machine, contact the ice experts at Hubbard Systems on 01473 350000. There are also a variety of specialist cleaning and maintenance guides which can be found in the downloads section at Scotsman-ice.co.uk.

Hubbard Systems is the UK distributor for the market-leading Scotsman range of icemakers and the Friulinox range of refrigeration products, which are available via dealers nationwide. Hubbard Systems is part of HTG Trading Ltd.

For more information and details of local stockists, call Hubbard Systems on 01473 350045, email sales@hubbardsystems.co.uk or visit www.scotsman-ice.co.uk