Condenser fan blows or sucks air through ice bin
For those following the story about self-contained air-cooled ice machines blowing or sucking unfiltered air through the food zone, NSF announced a teleconference being held on October 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm (ET). The tele conference should last about 2 hours and is open to the public. At the designated time, please call 866-740-1260, and at the prompt enter participant code: 8276806.
To get a quick overview of what this all about and how it might effect ice machine service companies, please take a look at the 7 minute video on the first page of this website:
What this means to ice machine service companies is they may be called upon to fix these airflow problems on ice machines . These air flows are regulated by NSF:
5.17 Entry ports
....Condensing compartments shall be sealed from the ice making compartment.
And by and FDA Food Code:
4-204.18 Condenser Unit, Separation.
If a condenser unit is an integral component of EQUIPMENT, the
condenser unit shall be separated from the FOOD and FOOD
storage space by a dustproof barrier.
After these machines are corrected, it will make it easier for service companies to keep them clean, regardless of what type of additional cleaning system are used, including just manual cleaning.
The basic reason for NSF involvement can be summed up in this NSF statement to the consumer about the value of their certification on ice machines to the consumer:
Most importantly for you, NSF Certification is not a one-time activity. We do not just test a single model of a product and give it our okay. Our certification programs require regular on-site inspections of the manufacturing facilities. In addition, certified products are periodically re-tested against the requirements of the most current version of the applicable national standard. If for any reason a product fails to meet one or more of our certification criteria, we will take whatever enforcement actions we deem necessary to protect the public, including product recall, public notification, or de-certification.
Lastly, attached are the proposed methods to test airflows through the food zone, both in the field and on the factory floor. NSF and all the ice machine manufacturers have this PDF as a reference for the telephone conference and now you do too.
I have not seen the problems described in the video.
condenser compartment has always been isolated from the bin.
Originally Posted by indy2000
I totally understand and agree. The fact is, no one has "seen" the problem before because you cannot "see" air flowing from the condenser unit into the food zone and you cannot "see" airborne microorganisms getting stuck on moist, unwashed surfaces inside the food zone. But, we have all "seen" and cleaned ice machines that look like cesspools.
The mold and slime in these machines does NOT come from the water. The mold and slime come from invisible air flows that are heavily laden with airborne microorganisms from 1,000's breathing, sneezing, sweating humans that are cooking, eating and drinking beer in restaurants and bars. And, in more than half of these self-contained air-cooled ice machines, the air is also being sucked from just above the floor drain into the ice bin. Way unhealthy.
This "sucking" from the floor drain cannot be "seen" or felt, but it can easily be measured with the proper instruments. And, it is this scientific measurement of the air flows in ice machines (from drains or other places) that is the subject of discussion at the upcoming NSF telephone conference on October 4th. Look at the attached PDF about air flows in the first post of this thread and you WILL be able to "see" the problem described in the video at
To correct this situation it will take the cooperation of many people, including ice machine service companies, and that is why you are being given a heads up about this NSF conference.