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County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Environmental Health
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
(888) 700-9995

Health Advisory
Retail Ice Storage and Dispensing

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, numerous outbreaks of illness have been traced to the use of contaminated ice. The most likely causes of ice contamination are poor handling and storage practices. These guidelines are being provided to retail ice machine operators in an effort to reduce bacterial contamination associated with the manufacturing, storage and dispensing of ice.

  1. Ice storage and dispensing units should be an approved type with a tightly fitted cover.
  2. Containers used to transport ice from storage units to dispensers should be an approved type. Ice transfer containers and scoops should be an approved type, smooth and easily cleanable.
  3. Ice storage compartments, transfer containers and dispensing scoops and equipment should be cleaned and sanitized as follows:
    1. Dismantle dispensing spigots, hoses, storage reservoirs and other ice storage equipment/utensils for proper and effective cleaning and sanitizing.
    2. Wash thoroughly, using an approved detergent, in hot water at least 
      110F - 120F. Rinse the equipment parts and utensils thoroughly in hot water at least 110F - 120F.
    3. Sanitize all equipment parts and utensils. Retail ice preparation, ice storage, and dispensing shall meet the requirements for utensil washing, i.e. wash, rinse, and sanitize in a 3-compartment sink.

Manual Sanitizing can be accomplished by:

  • Contact with a solution of 100 ppm available chlorine solution for 30 seconds
  • Contact with a solution of 25 ppm available iodine for 1 minute
  • Contact with a solution of 200 ppm quaternary ammonium for 1 minute
  • Immersion in water at 171F for at least 30 seconds
  • Contact with any chemical sanitizer that meets the requirements of 21 C.F.R. 178.1010
  • Any other method approved by the enforcement agency
  1. Ice transfer containers and utensils, e.g., scoops, shall be properly stored to prevent contamination.

These guidelines have been established to aid the retail food service industry to provide a safe ice product to the public. For additional information, please contact your local Environmental Health office. For information on approved ice equipment and sink requirements, please contact the Plan Check Division at (626) 430-5560.

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