Advice on ice hygiene: keep yourself clean and keep the icemaker clean

Hubbard questions suggestion that faecal bacteria came from water that made the ice

Mark Stebbings of Hubbard SystemsOnce again the issue of ice hygiene is in the media, with a researcher from the BBC’s Rip Off Britain finding bacteria from faeces in ice cubes served in a big-name takeaway.*

However, a suggestion that the bacteria could have come from the water used in the icemaker has been questioned by the ice experts at Hubbard Systems, the company that markets Scotsman ice machines in the UK.

“The water in the icemaker will have passed through a filter system that will help to prevent any bacteria present from getting into the machine,” says Mark Stebbings, technical and aftercare manager at Hubbard Systems. “The bacteria that was found is most probably the result of poor personal hygiene standards, presumably on the part of a member of staff.”

The solution is straight-forward, says Mark.  “Clean the machine, clean yourself, and don’t pick up ice with your hands – use a scoop.  Ice is a food so staff should always wash their hands before and during service.  As for the machine, follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.  They shouldn’t be complicated.”

Meanwhile for any operator who is concerned about a potential problem with their ice machine, there’s a simple test kit that they can use.  “The 3M Clean ‘n Trace kit, available from many outlets including Hubbard Systems, is simple to use,” says Mark.  “The operator just swabs the area – in this case the inside of the storage bin – then pops the swab into a solution that will change colour to show if there is an issue with bacteria.”

Anyone looking for guidance on cleaning ice machines should find Hubbard’s ‘how to’ videos useful.  They can be found in the video area at

Hubbard Systems is the UK distributor for the market-leading Scotsman range, which is available via dealers nationwide.  For more information on the full range of Scotsman ice machines, and details of local stockists, freephone Hubbard Systems on 0800 616559, call 01473 350045 email or visit