Are you confused if one can fall sick by consuming old ice cubes? In this article, we would answer the question “can you get sick from old ice cubes?” Sit tight, grab yourself a drink and read through this article for all the details you need.
Old ice cubes can be contaminated with bacteria that poison food especially when they are dirty. These specks of dirt on the ice cubes come as a result of dirty ice maker machines. This simply means that you can get sick from old ice cubes that are contaminated.
Since the ice produced from the ice maker machine is consumed, the ice maker machine is considered a food contact surface. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, clean and disinfect at least once a month. Cleaning will eliminate the buildup of lime/scale and other mineral deposits and disinfection will eliminate the growth of algae and silt.
In What Ways can an Ice Machine get Dirty?
Since we have earlier stated that you can get sick from dirty old ice cubes that were exposed to food poisoning bacteria. It is important to find out in what ways the ice-making machines can get dirty. Thereby causing our ice cubes to be dirty.
Most people believe that since ice machines are naturally cold, they can not be contaminated by bacteria or harbor germs. This is a very common misconception that many people have about the science of bacteria and germs grow.
Now that you have realized that bacteria and germs can grow in cold places, it’s important to know what makes the ice maker dirty and what to avoid.
Here is a list of things that can get your ice maker dirty,
- When you do not change the water often enough.
- Dirty hands
- Not removing the old ice
- When you do not clean the inside of the machine.
- Dirty water can also be frozen which people can take.
Dust is another common problem, but one that is easy to avoid. How dusty can your ice machine be when it is not in use? Dust can carry bacteria that will gradually build on your ice maker machine if left open. Hence causing the actual ice maker part to get dusty and dirty.
How to Clean a Dirty Ice Maker
Often ice maker machine maintenance is neglected for more seemingly pressing or urgent tasks. Some simple procedures can keep an ice maker working much longer than when it is left on its own.
It is important to clean your ice maker as often as possible. Periodically, the cleaning of an ice maker should be more complete and thorough than the previous one. Sometimes maintenance is the only thing needed to keep the ice maker clean and, hopefully, to avoid replacing it. It is best to follow the cleaning instructions that come with your own device. However, always remember to clean the chute from which the ice comes out. Thorough cleaning of your device can prevent you from falling sick from eating the ice cubes from it.
People tend to forget that cleaning the outside is as important as cleaning the inside of the ice machine. The chute can be particularly dirty and forgotten. So that area should be cleaned thoroughly because it is from there that the ice gets to the people eating it.
Beyond the fact that a portable ice maker is a small investment, it is also a food-contact surface. Hence, it is important to keep it clean always. The best way to keep it clean is to clean it before and after each use.
- This does not allow any bacteria or build-up to contaminate your ice machine.
- Given the small size of portable ice machines, it is easy to count on the speed of cleaning.
Below are some simple procedures to keep the Ice maker clean
1. Replace the Water Filters Every Six Months.
Water filters are extremely important for extending the life of your ice maker and must be replaced every six months. A water filter performs three tasks:
- Removes the sediment from water by keeping the ice clean and clear in appearance.
- It prevents the formation of scale that can accumulate in the machine and significantly reduce ice production.
- Eliminates bad odors and bad taste.
Although it is possible to avoid sediment after six months, the scale inhibitor and the carbon elements (which prevent bad smells and bad tastes) are exhausted and no longer effective. Consuming ice cubes from such can get you sick.
2. Invest in Antimicrobial Protection.
The growth of sludge and mold is another concern for ice machines. Many ice machines have antimicrobial protection incorporated in the plastic used in the areas of the food zone in the production of ice and are guaranteed to prevent the growth of silt and mold during the life of the machine.
3. Disinfect your machine regularly.
With antimicrobial protection, you are already set out in the right direction of keeping your ice-making machine in good working condition for a longer time. But there is still no substitute for regular cleaning.
You should empty and disinfect your ice machine every six months. Clean the machine with a nickel-safe scale remover and ice machine disinfectant. In addition, the condenser fins and air filters must be cleaned every six months. Failure to keep the condenser free from lint and grease build-up will decrease the ability of the ice maker to breathe and operate at maximum capacity, thus reducing ice production.
What are the Risks of Dirt on Your Ice Machine?
Dirty ice can affect thousands of people, depending on whether your ice machine is for a business or home.
Your dirty ice maker can have negative effects on your clients or your own family. In both cases, the risks associated with the soiling of your ice machine can be dangerous.
People assume that ice, being frozen cannot be contaminated but it is important for you as an ice maker owner or producer to know that it is very necessary to keep it clean. This will prevent people from falling sick from consuming the ice cubes.
E. coli, salmonella, Shigella and norovirus are some of the diseases with which a person can get sick with the consumption of old and dirty ice cubes. A study conducted in December 2007 in Chicago collected more than 50 ice samples from restaurants and hotel bars. This study revealed that 1/5 of the institutions had ice cubes that have been contaminated with fecal matter.
Also, plastic tubes in ice machines and soda machines contain sugar and other fluids that are clogged and accumulated in them. They can make it easier for pathogens to live and thrive there. People may get sick if they take the ice cubes from such machines.
This may not be as harmful as the other ones here, but the possibility of your ice machine breaking down is always a risk. Like any other device, it becomes too dirty and can break down momentarily or permanently due to buildup of dust or rust as the case may be.
Summary and Recommendation
The effects of consuming dirty old ice cubes can be as mild as a cold or as drastic as death. To avoid any unwanted problem, clean your dirty ice machine and maintain it regularly.
When you do this, it prevents the high build-up of dirt and dust on your tube. Hence preventing people from falling sick when ice cubes are consumed.
Cleaning carefully and often is the best way to eliminate the risk of death with your ice maker.
By taking the time every six months to clean your ice machine and change filters and microbial devices, you can greatly increase the life of your ice maker and decrease the chance of getting food poisoning.
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