Quality, Taste, Safety
Scale and calcium build-up affects all equipment that uses water, in performance. Especially so with hot water or steam based equipment as well as ice machines.
It is prudent to employ effective protection against scale build-up on all levels. Economically: scale build up on heating coils requires more energy and requires more 'descaling' clean up. Equipment down time can be very costly.
Bevtech can offer a number of remedies for scale reduction or total removal. Many factors are taken into consideration when designing the correct treatment as "there is no one size or type to treat all".
One example of a solution is the Scalegard HT SF 165 which can greatly
reduce the kind of scaling causing pre-mature equipment failure. As
well chlorine and sediment is removed to provide a great tasting beverage.
Photos illustrate a clear difference.
Bevtech can offer a number of remedies for scale and microbiologicals. Ask your dealer or contact Bevtech for more information.
When we think of food safety we often forget about the ice machine. People think nothing of ordering a drink with ice, or of loading a drink cup with ice at the fountain. Perhaps we should. Ice machines are the most neglected in maintenance and cleaning because 'it's only ice.'
However ice is defined as a “food”. Therefore, keeping your ice machine clean make sense from a regulatory standpoint but also from a monetary standpoint.
The ice used in the fountain drinks is an integral part of the syrup to water blend. Most complaints with off taste on the fountain drinks are directly related to water, however most people only think of the liquid water put into the cup, not the frozen water that is ice.
By ensuring that the best quality of product comes out of the ice machine you will reduce complaints, refunds and lost revenue. Good tasting beverages (whether coffee or carbonated drinks and juices) are a major reason for repeat business.
An ice machine takes heat away from the water by means of cooling plates and transfers this heat to the outside either by air-cooling or by water-cooling. This transfer of heat creates a warm moist environment within the ice machine which encourages bacteria, bio-slime and mold.
This happens in all situations, but is especially true in many stores where there are yeasts in the air from the bread being baked.
Bio-slime starts out as a clear colored 'gel-ish', then as it progresses, turns pink, then yellow, then greenish and finally, black. This is not just ugly, it is a serious health hazard and liability for any operation should a health problem or outbreak, return to their machine as the source.
Twin problems are, the corrosive action of calcium build up, and of the chlorine in treated water eating at the plates in an ice machine. As mentioned earlier, heat is taken away from the water by cooling plates. This magnifies one of the phenomenons of commercial ice machines, in that during the ice making process all Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are removed from the frozen water and deposited on the cooling plates. This builds up over a period of time and starts a corrosive action on the plates that is accelerated by the chlorine in the water. The approved Cuno filtration systems are designed to assist with reducing slime and scale buildup (which will in turn reduce energy consumption) in ice machines.
All of this information points to the importance of maintaining your ice machine.
Some basic steps:
1. Wash your hands prior to handling ice or servicing the equipment.
2. Ensure that the ice dispenser bin is cleaned daily and that any scoops or buckets are stored in a sanitary manner.
3. On a weekly basis: clean the exterior of the machine and ensure that there is free flowing air around the machine.
4. Inspect the bin and other areas for signs of mold or bio-slime.
5. Use approved sanitation and de-scaling products to fight mold and bio-slime growth in your machine.
6. Take the time to look at the recommended cleaning procedures on the ice machine and follow them. These are generally located on the inner cover of the ice machine. If there are no instructions contact the manufacturer for help.
7. Have regular preventive maintaince inspections done on your ice machine.
8. Talk to your equipment technician about any concerns or questions you may have.
9. Remember ice is a “food” therefore the product and the equipment must be treated as such.
Following these steps will help ensure that you consistently put out quality beverage products.
It is also important to note here, that aside from maintenance and cleaning, product and application, there are standards of hygiene that must be adhered to, for anyone who has contact with the ice: Servers, bartenders and cooks. Ice needs to be handled with the same hygienic care as other foods. Cleaned hands, plastic gloves, and caution against sneezing, coughing, etc., near the ice.
By properly maintaining your equipment you can be confident that you are providing safe beverage products to you customers while keeping your profit levels stable.
Where there is water, there is the risk of bacteria, mold, slime, and corrosion; all of which can accumulate in areas of the ice maker that can directly affect the ice in the bin. All refrigeration units create heat where the motors are and that heat drives up the bacteria/slime colonies in the moist areas of the ice maker, and that finds its way into the other corners of the machine, including the bin.
Your Bevtech Dealer can design a system for your ice machines that best protects against bacteria, scale, mold and slime, as well as protects your bottom line. Maintenance cleaning in key areas where moisture accumulates, and warmth from circulation pumps will still be necessary, but we can protect the ice and the lines that carry the water, and give you the best possible, clear ice with no aftertaste. Why make a great beverage and ruin it with bad ice?
For service, information, or to find a dealer in your area of Alberta, BC or the Territories.
Serving all of Alberta, BC and the Territories
Lee Saunders, President
Toll Free: 8774021421
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