Ozone: Why It Matters
Many restaurant chains are opting in to disinfect their ice to ensure the safest product be served to their guests. Ice disinfection is growing in popularity due to it’s benefits in food safety, quality assurance, regulatory compliance, and return on investment. Learn more about the benefits of ice disinfection with Quail Eco-Ice below.
Ice is considered a food and is held to the same exacting standards as anything else being served to customers. Ice machines are known to commonly harbor bacteria and molds which ca be potentially dangerous. Our system disinfects the water (using ozone) before it is frozen, maintains this state while frozen, and again releases its disinfecting power as the ice melts. The end-to-end protective properties prevent dangerous transmission from the water-line input to the trusting consumer.
The quality of the ice affects the quality of the beverages it cools. Our systems apply an effective dose of ozone which is even lower than the amount contained in most bottled water. This eliminates organisms or chemicals which could negatively alter taste without leaving a taste of its own.
Since Ice is a food, regulatory organizations and inspectors observe commercial ice machines very closely and issue a large number of citations each year. Shutting down machines for extra cleaning or paying resultant fines are not events that any restaurant wants to experience. Our systems can automatically and continuously reduce this risk significantly.
Return on Investment
Traditional methods of meeting Food Safety, Quality Assurance, and Regulatory Compliance goals for ice machines are expensive, time consuming and unpleasant. For this reason, a new way was needed which would significantly reduce the expense and hassle of manual cleanings. The restaurant group we mentioned earlier believes that across the country they will reduce the frequency of required cleanings from every 3-4 months down to (at most) every 12-18 months.
They saw significant differences in less than 16 weeks between treated and untreated machines. Following the initial trial period, these results have been magnified all the way out to over 9 months!
The following 3-month program report demonstrated the positive effects gained on ice-machine cleanliness and biofilm reduction using ozone technology supplied by Quail Systems®.
The tests were conducted in two restaurants which are part of a large national restaurant group.
Test & Results
- Two machines in Restaurant 1 and one machine in Restaurant 2 were inspected and photographed. This provided a pre-clean basis.
- All three machines were thoroughly cleaned per manufacturer’s instructions.
- All three machines were immediately photographed again to provide a post-clean baseline.
- An ozonation device was immediately installed on the water line feeding one machine in Restaurant 1 and the only machine in Restaurant 2.
- The second machine in Restaurant 1 was not ozonated and allowed to run as usual.
- After 3 months, all three machines were inspected and photographed again.
- Comparisons were made to evaluate the effect of ozone on the machines and ice.
3 Month Test Results
It should first be noted that there were no reported incidences of diners or staff noticing differences in taste or appearance of ice or ice containing beverages.
As the following pictures clearly demonstrate, the non-ozonated machine quickly built-up significant mold an reverted towards its pre-clean state within 3 months. It again required a deep cleaning in order to prevent possible food contamination and health-code violations.
Standing in contrast, the ozonated machines remained virtually in the same condition that they were immediately following the deep clean. The following pictures demonstrate that the treated machines did not required cleaning in order to protect diners or pass inspections.
In addition to the information gathered from inspection and photography, we received nothing except very positive feedback from Restaurant Team Members at the test locations. Chris, the manager at Restaurant 2, enthusiastically contrasted our results to the ice machines he had seen while working at a previous restaurant chain. He said, “This is the best approach to keeping an ice machine clean that I have ever seen. After 3 months, it looks like it was cleaned yesterday!”
Each section will focus on one machine and will show:
- Pre-cleaning condition
- Condition immediately following deep-clean
- Condition 3 months follow deep-clean
Restaurant 1 Ozonated Machine
12 Weeks After Cleaning
Restaurant 1 Non-Ozonated Machine
12 Weeks After Cleaning
Restaurant 2 Ozonated Machine
12 Weeks After Cleaning
Following the test, we continued to monitor the ozonated machines for 9 months to document the sustained benefit of our equipment. The following pictures show how these machines, which have not received a standard cleaning for over 9 months, look.
As you can see, both machines would still easily pass an inspection!