Keeping a sanitary environment is essential in any industry, but it’s an absolute necessity in healthcare. According to the CDC, about 1 in 25 U.S. hospital patients is diagnosed with at least one hospital-acquired infection (HAI) related to hospital care alone. HAIs cost hospitals in the US anywhere between 28 billion to 45 billion annually. With numbers like these, maintaining a sanitary environment is a top priority – even in your hospital ice machine or ice chip maker. Cleaning helps, but you also need a powerful ice machine sanitizer to keep your hospital nugget or chewable ice maker sanitary between cleanings.
Why it’s Important to Use an Ice Machine Sanitizer
When hospitals don’t clean and maintain an ice machine properly, it can become a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria, viruses, mold and other harmful microorganisms. Ice makers also attract common HAIs such as:
- E. Coli
- Hepatitis A
- Norwalk Virus
Hospitals should clean ice machines every six months, but even with proper cleaning, harmful biofilms can still form and contaminate your nugget ice.
Ozone Keeps Ice Machines Sanitary Between Cleanings
Ozone is a gaseous sanitizer that is created by sunlight and lightning. It’s a remarkably powerful oxidant and virucide that works 3000 times faster than chlorine. When ozone comes in contact with contaminants, it destroys the organism’s cell wall through oxidation. The resulting by-product of this reaction is pure oxygen, which disperses into the air.
To sanitize hospital ice machines, a generator installed within the unit produces a small spark that continually produces ozone.
The Benefits of Ozone
When introduced to a hospital ice maker, ozone generators are 99.9% effective at preventing the growth of microorganisms, including contaminants that cause many of the HAIs hospitals fight each year.
Ozone ice machine sanitizer keeps units safely within health department guidelines, limiting citations. More importantly, nugget ice remains free of contaminants that can cause severe problems for patients who are prone to infection.
Aside from ozone keeping chewable ice makers sanitary, they’re low-hassle as well. Ozone breaks down into pure oxygen, so there’s no need to rinse it out of your machine as you would with quat-based sanitizers. Since ozone generators use electricity to produce ozone, they never have to be refilled. The generator will produce ozone for as long as it keeps running.
Ozone is also heavier than air, allowing it to drop through hard-to-reach dispenser spouts and drain pans, sanitizing them as well.
Ozone in the Field
Easy Ice tested ozone with some of our clients, and the results were astounding. One customer’s ice machine was in a particularly challenging environment where they noticed considerable mold growth within 3 weeks of a cleaning. During their next cleaning, we installed our ozone generator into the client’s ice machine and tracked the level of mold that grew. After 15 weeks, we found their ice machine was still mold-free!
Beyond ozone’s success in the field, we also measured the long-term benefits of using it in your ice machine. Ozone has been shown to:
- Lower overall service and maintenance costs
- Improve the efficiency of your ice machine, limiting costly problems in the future
- Peace of mind during surprise health inspections
The Easy Ice Easy Clean Ozone Generator
If you’re looking for a truly sanitary ice machine, you can add an ozone generator to any of our ice maker subscriptions. Along with standard cleanings every six months, our ozone generator is a fully automated system that continually disperses ozone into the ice machine’s reservoir.
When it comes to the healthcare industry, access to a reliable ice supply should be easy – and safe. Hospitals deserve the best ice machine sanitizer to keep units clean and ensure the health of your patients. With an Easy Ice subscription, hospitals can eliminate the hassle of maintaining their ice makers and have access to state-of-the-art sanitizers like ozone for a low monthly cost.
Contact Easy Ice at 866-easyice to add an Ozone Generator to your subscription today!
As the Co-Founder and COO of Easy Ice, John Mahlmeister has been working in the commercial ice machine industry since 2009. Co-headquartered in Phoenix, AZ and Marquette, MI, Easy Ice is the only national provider of full-service ice machine subscriptions in the industry. Since Easy Ice was founded, the number of ice machines under its management has grown to over 30,000 units across 47 states, with no signs of slowing down.
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