When it comes to cross contamination, most people will think about meat products or other cooking materials in the kitchen. It is very rare that people know that food contamination can also happen due to the improper handling of ice by professional food handlers. This is why it is very important that you are giving proper attention when working in a kitchen or handling things inside the kitchen, including the ice. In the modern world, where food safety is a growing concern, it is important to know everything about handling ice safely to avoid contamination.
If you have taken a food handlers certificate or are preparing for one, you would know that ice is equally at risk and can be a reason for contamination, which can occur when a food is spoiled by the presence of another compound that affects its fitness for consumption.
Professionals in the industry claim that ice is similar to food and can be a reason for contamination. The three types of food contamination are:
l Biological Contamination – Ice can become biologically contaminated once the food handler touches it with bare hands.
l Physical Contamination – Physical contamination, on the other hand, can happen due to something falling into the water used for making ice.
l Chemical Contamination – This situation can happen from cleaning chemicals used on ice machines or storage containers.
Rules for handling ice
As a professional with having food handlers certificate, it is important to know that handling the ice in a kitchen should be done the proper way so that you can maintain the safety of your customers. Here are some important rules you must keep in your mind to prevent contamination and keep ice safe for customers:
- Make sure to wash your hands before using or touching the ice just like touching anything else like meat or poultry product.
- Avoid touching or carrying ice with bare hands.
- Only proper utensils like scoops or tongs should be used to transfer ice and the utensils must be properly cleaned and sanitized.
- The utensils used for carrying or storing ice must be kept in an area where they will not become contaminated.
- Only the appropriate containers must be used to store ice and make sure they are properly labeled.
- Before using dedicated ice containers, it is important to clean and sanitize them.
- When you are not using the ice container, it is important to keep it dry or store it in an upside-down position to prevent contamination.
- The ice machine used in a kitchen for storing or making ice must be clean and working properly.
- Ice machine must be inspected regularly and maintenance work must be done at a regular interval.
So, when you are serious about food safety and want to ensure keeping your customers happy about the quality of food being served, make sure to follow these tips or rules to carry ice to the contamination in the kitchen area.