Ice Makers

Ice making can vary in scale from large commercial operations to small ice machines utilised in hotels, laboratories, health and aged care facilities. Each of these has its challenges and risks that need to be taken into account.

Commercial ice makers

  • Typically have a refrigeration plant and a cooling tower providing cooling for the process.
  • Water is pre-filtered and disinfected by either chlorine or ozone prior to use.
  • Regulations are present that require regular testing of make-up water quality for metals and bacteria.
  • Bacteria testing of ice is also required to ensure that the disinfection process is working and no bacteria is present that could provide a risk to human health if consumed.

Ice machines in health care facilities, AGED CARE PREMISES and hotels

  • Ice machines are often present in hotels, health and aged care facilities.
  • Ice may be used in drinks or sucked on.  This process can lead to at-risk people becoming exposed to Legionella bacteria.  Legionella cases have been associated with an ice machine in an aged care facility where a patient was sucking on ice that had Legionella bacteria present.
  • Warmth generated by the chiller compressor is thought to be responsible for providing temperatures suitable for growth of the bacteria in the incoming cold water lines of ice machines.
  • Regular maintenance of ice making machines should be carried out, including the changing of filters and a clean and disinfection program for water distribution lines.
  • Regular bacteria testing of ice and water should be conducted to ensure the system is performing correctly.
  • Ice from ice machines should not be given to at-risk individuals.