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Safe ice handling

Ice that is served to customers is considered food and needs to be treated like any other food product. This includes proper ice machine care, ice handling and old ice disposal.

Clean your ice machine

A regular commercial ice machine maintenance and cleaning schedule is required to combat mineral deposits and slime build-up inside the machine. When commercial ice machines are not
properly maintained both overall performance and ice quality suffer.


  • Make sure employees wash their hands before and after working with ice
  • Use a dedicated container - either an ice tote or ice caddie for transporting ice
  • Use plastic ice scoops with ice. Only plastic scoops are NSF approved for ice handling
  • Store the scoop outside of the ice storage bin, preferably in a dedicated container or scoop caddie


  • Re-freeze ice once it begins to melt
  • Handle or scoop ice by hand
  • Use ice buckets or glasses as scoops
  • Store bottles or other products in food ice
  • Dump unused ice back into the ice bin
  • Disposing of old ice
    • Food ice has a shelf-life, just like any other food and needs to be disposed of:
  • Once it starts to melt.
  • If it has become contaminated by food or broken glass.
  • If it has been used to chill bottles.

Cleaning Ice Supplies

  • All picks, scoops, scoop caddies and other small ice handling items can be cleaned and sanitized using a commercial dishwasher.
  • Hand wash ice totes, inside and out, with warm soapy water.
  • Wash portable ice caddies with warm soapy water using a plastic bristle brush.


  • Pests in a commercial kitchen can ruin inventory and have a detrimental affect on customers.
  • Common restaurant pests include: beetles, weevils, moths, cockroaches, flies and rodents.
  • Waste, food preparation, dining, storage and outdoor areas are common areas for pests.
  • Maintain a daily cleaning schedule for both the front and back of the house.
  • Train restaurant staff on the importance of maintaining a clean restaurant.