Ice is Food: How & Why to Keep it Sanitary


Filtered Water Makes the Best Ice

The average human eats nearly 2 pounds of ice a day. As with every other food, safe ice handling and proper preparation are the only ways to guarantee a healthy, tasty product. Installing an inline filtration system on your commercial ice machine’s water supply assures that residual bacteria, accumulated minerals and other contaminants are removed from the water.

Which Filtration System to Buy

Commercial water filtration systems use one to three filters to totally clean your incoming water. The number you need depends on the size of your commercial ice machine.

Cube Ice MachinesFlake and Nugget Ice Machines
1 FilterUp to 650 lbsUp to 1200
2 Filters650 – 1300 lbsOver 1200 lbs
3 FiltersOver 1300 lbsOver 1300 lbs


When To Change

Ice filters need to be changed every 6 months. Failure to change the filter will cause your machine to work harder and wear it out faster. Since having a filter with your ice machine is so vital, some manufacturers, like Supera, actually include a free filter with the purchase of an ice machine. Others, like Ice-O-Matic, offer free extended warranties if you agree to change the water filter every six months. FSW recommends buying Supera water filters for your ice machines. These water filters are specifically designed to lend ice machines a hand so that the ice they produce from the water you supply is free of the debris and particulates that cause ice to ruin beverages.

Ice Contaminants

Ice is subject to a variety of contaminants. The most common occur when a machine is poorly maintained or the water supply has dissolved minerals or residual chlorine.

  • Mineral Deposits: Municipal water companies only remove contaminants that are harmful to human health. Many dissolved minerals are not harmful, therefore are not removed. Mineral laden water results in ice that appears cloudy and can make a drink smell and taste unappealing.

  • Slime Build-Up: Slime build-up can result from a poorly maintained ice machine. Ice made from a slimy machine will appear cloudy with a slight yellow, green or red tint and can cause illness, especially in those with weakened immune systems.
    Learn More About Ice Machine Maintenance »

  • Chlorination: Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to water in order to treat it and kill harmful germs. Residual chlorine remains in the water supply giving the water an unappealing taste.

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