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  • Writer's picturePacRimReps

Safe Ice Handling Practices - How to Handle Ice without Compromising your Operation

It's often overlooked that ice is food. Most foodservice employees are trained in proper handling of food while ice is an afterthought. Ice is transported in buckets that isn't washed regularly, hands or other objects are placed into the ice bin or no one thinks about when the last time that ice scoop was washed because ice is clean right?

Ice is just as susceptible to contamination, if not more so. While foods can be cooked to temperature, effectively killing any bacteria obviously we have to take stricter measures to take care of ice. The only way to get rid of bacteria in ice is to discard it. Many servers think nothing of scooping ice out of the bin with the glass instead of a scoop. This action can easily transfer bacteria that may be lingering on the glass to the ice or even allow hands to get into the ice itself. Or worse, the glass can chip into the ice causing a potentially life-threatening injury!

For these reasons, ice needs to be treated as food would be. Safe handling procedures must be put in place for the safety of your employees and customers alike. But fear not! Carlisle / San Jamar provides the necessary tools to make it easy to handle ice safely.


The San Jamar Safe-T Ice scoop & Guardian System made from durable polycarbonate NSF certified material features a knuckle guard to help keep hands away from ice. The Guardian can fasten to the inside or outside of the bin with included suction cups, brackets or hardware which keeps the scoop out of the ice when not in use.


- Always use dedicated scoop for ice

- store scoop outside or above the bin

- Never use bare hands to scoop ice

- Never use a glass to scoop ice

- Never throw unused ice back into the ice bin

- Always use a dedicated ice tote to transport ice

- Clean & sanitize ice scoops & totes daily

Also important is to wash hands regularly when handling the ice scoop! Between bussing tables & taking orders then making drinks, its often forgotten to wash between tasks.


Always use a freshly cleaned bucket when transferring ice. Never use a bucket that has been laying around for who knows how long. This is a prime way to contaminate ice. Instead use the San Jamar light duty Ice tote to transfer small amounts of ice & the Safe-T tote for larger quantities up to 25lbs. These totes can be attached directly to the ice bin for easy filling and raised handles to avoid contamination from the floor. Also indents in the base leave an area for hands to easily tilt ice out of the tote. Made from durable polycarbonate NSF materials and has exclusive Tri-Grip ergonomic handles for easy lifting & pouring. Comes in 2 sizes 5 gallon & 6 gallon designed specifically to fit into commercial dishwashers.


Carrying 25lbs of ice back & forth between the back of the house to the front can be tiring and just too heavy for some people. Avoid costly work related injuries from ice transport with our San Jamar Safe-T ice cart. It can hold 2 Safe-T totes filled to the max and folds down when not in use. 2 models are available for the 5 gallon & 6 gallon totes.

If you need more storage then opt for our ICE ONLY container which is made with an ergonomic handle for easy handling, deep hand holds on base for controlled tipping & reinforced lids that snaps down to seal.

Also don't forget our Carlisle portable ice caddy with its extra thick foam insulation to maintain temperatures, rounded inside corners & removable lid for easy cleaning. Stainless steel reinforced hinges prevent rusting, heavy duty casters for easy rolling & NSF rated. Remember to wash and sanitize this bin as often as any other ice storage container!


Of course no matter how careful you are, it all starts with clean ice and that means a well maintained ice machine. Specially trained Refrigeration Technicians are available to do this service for you if you cannot do this yourself as taking apart the machine to scrub can be a daunting task.


- Empty & clean/sanitize your ice machine & ice bin every 2-4 months to reduce risk of contamination, eliminate odors and improve taste of ice.

- Completely clean & descale your ice machine every 6 months

- Use a water filter! YES it does make a difference in taste, ice quality as well as cleanliness of the ice machine itself

- Vacuum the coils & air filters of your ice machine regularly

- Install your ice machine in a well ventilated area away from cooking equipment, refrigerators and other appliances that can cause cross contamination

- Think about getting a UV protection system if your ice machine is within close distance of beer, rice making or bread making.

Carlisle makes a wide range of sanitation supplies so ask us for some assistance or browse their catalog to see more! We're always here to help our foodservice community in anyway we can.


#pacrimrepshi #werehereforyou #carlisle #sanjamar #sanitation

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