Conference for Food Protection

2016 Biennial Meeting

Issue View | Council I | 2016 Biennial Meeting

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Issue Number: Council I 007

Issue History

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IMC 3 – Amend Food Code 4-602.11 (E) (4) Equipment Cleaning Frequency

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

One of the charges of the Ice Machine Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing Committee was to survey regulatory agencies to determine the 'extent of critical and non-critical inspection violations.'

The committee reviewed 5 sets of data provided by regulatory agencies and came up with the following summary:

  • 3,763 violations were identified in 2014 related to mold or soil accumulation in the ice bin, bin walls, ice chute, door, and/or gaskets.

Additionally, the Committee was charged to 'review ice maker manufacturers/owner's manuals to establish their recommended cleaning and sanitizing processing and frequencies and its rationale.'

The equipment work group reviewed available online original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cleaning and sanitizing procedures to determine if there are common generally recommended practices. There was a general lack of uniformity regarding both cleaning/sanitation frequency and type of chemicals to be used. Cleaning frequencies ranged from quarterly, to annually, to "when dirty".

Subparagraph 4-602.11 (E) (4) of the 2013 FDA Food Code states that equipment should be cleaned at a frequency specified by the manufacturer. Based upon the number of cleaning violations noted in our survey and the lack of guidance provided by manufacturers regarding cleaning frequencies, we propose that simply cleaning ice machines based on a manufacturer's recommendations may be inadequate and that it should be combined with reviewing whether the equipment is clean or not.

Public Health Significance

Visible ice machine mold and soil appears to be a prevalent issue in commercial ice machines and these biofilms form when cleaning and sanitizing the machine is not performed at a specific frequency to preclude such and/or when the procedure and chemicals used are insufficient to accomplish the intended purpose of preventing microbial growth.

If these soils are not removed in a timely manner they may result in the formation of biofilms which could harbor pathogenic microorganisms such as Listeria monocytogenes.

Following the manufacturer's recommended cleaning schedule alone may be inadequate to prevent the growth of these biofilms. Therefore, even if a food establishment is cleaning the ice machine at the manufacturer's recommended cleaning frequency and the ice machine is found to be dirty, it should be cleaned at that time, even if it is prior to the next scheduled cleaning date.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a letter be sent to the FDA recommending that the 2013 Food Code be amended as follows (language to be added is underlined):

Subparagraph on Equipment Food Contact Surfaces and Equipment-Frequency, 4-602.11 (E) (4).

EQUIPMENT such as ice bins and BEVERAGE dispensing nozzles and enclosed components of EQUIPMENT such as ice makers, cooking oil storage tanks and distribution lines, BEVERAGE and syrup dispensing lines or tubes, coffee bean grinders, and water vending EQUIPMENT:

  1. At a frequency specified by the manufacturer, or more frequently if necessary, to preclude accumulation of soil or mold, or
  2. Absent manufacturer specifications, at a frequency necessary to preclude accumulation of soil or mold

Submitter Information 1

Name Peter Voss
Organization Co-Chair, Ice Maker Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing Committee
Address Ecolab
655 Lone Oak Drive
Eagan, MN 55121
Telephone 6515876464

Submitter Information 2

Name Tim Tewksbary
Organization Co-Chair, Ice Maker Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing Committee
Address Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Telephone 614-728-6250

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