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Ice Cube Tray Safety: Cleaning and Food Safety Tips

If you’re like me and like your drinks à la Andre 3000 (that’s, cooler than being cool: ice chilly), I’ve an vital query to ask: When’s the final time you totally cleaned out your ice dice trays?

Once more, in case you’re like me, you would possibly assume {that a} fast rinse earlier than refilling and freezing will suffice. However in keeping with Trevor Craig, a meals security skilled and the company director of technical coaching and consulting at Microbac Laboratories, neglecting a regular scrub in between makes use of could be dangerous.

Why it’s essential to clean your ice dice tray after every use

You’re (hopefully) already used to washing your dishes, cups, utensils, and the like instantly after utilizing them. Based on Craig, we should always apply the identical hygienic requirements to our ice dice trays. “On the whole, they need to be cleaned such as you would some other kitchen merchandise: with sizzling soapy water, then rinsed effectively,” he explains.



Whereas Craig notes that the danger for contamination is comparatively low, the danger remains to be current. “It’s a good suggestion to clean them since you simply don’t know what may have occurred or if they’ve been contaminated,” he continues. “Why danger it if it’s fairly straightforward to wash them earlier than refilling them?”

Ice dice trays might not be inherently extra prone to breed micro organism than different kitchen instruments. Nonetheless, since many people (I’m positive it’s not simply me… proper?) in all probability don’t wash them commonly, the danger can escalate since they’re merely not so contemporary and so clear. (Off subject: I hope not less than just a few readers will recognize the conveniently applicable Outkast references to date.) In any case, Craig reminds us that freezing isn’t actually a kill step. “It might kill some micro organism by lysis as a result of increasing water, however many micro organism survive chilly storage and might proceed to develop, though slowly,” he shares.

Craig mentions it is a key motive why frozen meals like ice cream are sometimes related to salmonella, listeria, and mono remembers. “The freezing course of doesn’t kill the micro organism,” he reiterates. “As quickly because it will get again into circumstances that help development, that micro organism can come again and trigger sickness.” Micro organism apart, analysis reveals that ice cubes even have the potential to harbor opportunistic pathogens—together with yeast and mould—that stay viable as you sip in your chilled bev of alternative.

“[Freezing perishable items] could kill some micro organism by lysis as a result of increasing water, however many micro organism survive chilly storage and might proceed to develop, though slowly.”

Furthermore, filling your ice dice trays with one thing past H2O—like espresso to forestall watery chilly brew, or fruit and herbs combined into water to make fancy ice—heightens the probabilities of breeding micro organism. “Including something to water is prone to improve the danger of micro organism being launched, and vitamins into that blend to help the expansion of micro organism,” Craig cautions. Once more the danger is low however nonetheless there. “Maintain that in thoughts with something you add or make a liquid out of,” he continues. “It is going to have all of the micro organism dangers as earlier than however in all probability simply slowed.” This consists of the likes of frozen broths and soups, particularly in the event that they had been refrigerated or left to take a seat at room temperature for just a few days, as a substitute of freezing them instantly.

3 security ideas for ice dice storage

To make sure that your ice cubes are as protected as doable for consumption, heed Craig’s parting ideas.

1. Wash them (and your fingers) earlier than refilling

Keep in mind: Give ice dice trays scrub with sizzling soapy water, rinse them effectively, and allow them to dry utterly placing them again to make use of. Whilst you’re at it, fill your trays solely after washing your fingers to keep away from potential contamination from the inevitable shaky switch to the freezer.

2. Retailer your ice dice trays on the highest shelf of your freezer

In case you retailer your trays wherever you could find room in your freezer, Craig advises making a devoted area for them greater up. “ rule that I take advantage of in my freezer is to place my ice dice trays close to the highest so they’re much less prone to be contaminated by something that might drip,” he shares. “There’s loads of meals that you simply purchase from the grocery retailer that’s naturally going to be contaminated with harmful micro organism which may go into your freezer. Meat is an efficient instance and probably may drip into different meals or trays and contaminate them.” Arduous cross, TYVM.

On this level, it’s additionally a good suggestion to go away sufficient buffer room between your ice dice trays and some other objects to restrict contact and thus potential contamination.

3. Clear out your ice storage container

In case your freezer has a built-in ice maker, the identical requirements for cleansing apply. “As for the [containers] which can be auto-filled and dumped by the fridge themselves, they need to be in a distinct part of your fridge and are much less prone to be uncovered,” Craig notes. At any price, “They normally could be eliminated and cleaned.”

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