Hospitality: pre-christmas maintenance tips

Is cleaning your ice machine the key to avoiding a seasonal meltdown?

If the Christmas party season were any closer Jack Frost would be biting us on the nose. So we want to let you in on a little secret well ahead of time – Ice Machines are the grinch of the hospitality industry. True story! These essential pieces of equipment make up the majority of service calls during the festive months and leave businesses in pandemonium.

But don’t cry into your Christmosas just yet, there’s plenty you can do before you’re losing your cool four-deep at the bar.

Patrick Connolly, owner and engineer of Climarite explains: “from now until January we get countless calls from panicked customers because their ice machines have gone down or aren’t working efficiently enough to cope with the heavy usage around Christmas.

“More often than not the issues we’re dealing with could have been prevented with a bit basic maintenance. Business owners also have an obligation to meet health and hygiene standards, so it really does pay to keep this up as a regular practice.”

So, while the smart ones in the industry will already have their sleeves rolled up and be getting stuck into the pre-party preparation, the very shrewd ones will be paying particular attention to their trusty ice machines.

We have put together some pointers for keeping equipment in tiptop condition – it won’t cost you a penny but could save you plenty. Plus, you can’t put a price on a stress-free Christmas!

  1. Remove ice hygienically: the same rules apply when cleaning as they do day-to-day – never use your bare hands to remove ice, as this is the fastest way to cause contamination. Once ice is removed discard and never put it back into the machine for use.
  2. Clean all sides: pull out the unit fully to scrub the back and sides, making sure the walls and floor around it are cleaned too. This is something that is easily forgotten but can land you in trouble with health and safety inspectors.
  3. Descaling and sanitisation: there will be section in the user manual with instructions of exactly how to do both of these things – every unit is different so do referring to the guide is essential. If unsure request the help of your engineer who will show you the best technique.
  4. Filtration fitting: a good water filtration system is advisable in areas where water is hard. This will not only improve the quality and taste of the ice but also help prevent the growth of limescale and micobacteria. The filter should be changed regularly (as advised by your engineer).
  5. Keep doors closed: always keep the door or lid of your machine closed, failure to do so we force the machine to overcompensate and increase likelihood of long-term damage or even a full breakdown.

For further details about our maintenance services contact Climarite on: 01704 630 515.

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