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Researchers at Hollins University in Virginia, have discovered that drinking beverages made from soda fountain machines could contribute to episodic gastric distress. Tests conducted on both self-service and personnel assisted soda machines showed a level of bacteria, including coliform, not allowed in municipal water. A follow up article in Food Safety News suggest the bacteria lies in the tubing of the machine. Regular monthly cleaning of the tubes along with daily cleaning of the nozzles should guard against bacteria.
Take off the cup rest from the machine to wash in warm soapy water, then reinstall.
Wash the exterior down, again using warm soapy water, rinse it and dry thoroughly.
Remove the valve nozzles from the machine and wash it in warm, soapy water. Reinstall.
Wash the diffusers in warm water.
Clean the ice chute.
Wash the nozzles with warm water.
Remove the splash plate and clean it in warm soapy water.
Clean the panel behind the splash plate with warm, soapy water. Replace the splash plate.
Flush the syrup lines:
Sanitize a bucket.
Fill the bucket with water and a sanitizing solution as recommended by your manufacturer.
Wear clean plastic gloves.
Remove the syrup line from all bags in boxes.
Open the valve and soak it in your bucket.
Use a plastic bag or glove to cover the connectors.
Empty, rinse, and fill the bucket with hot water, not above 140 degrees.
Take plastic from the connector and place in the hot water.
Activate the valve at the soda machine.
Flush the line until the bucket is empty and repeat two or three times.
Take the connector from the bucket and attach it to the new bag in box.
Activate the valve at the soda machine until all the water flushes through.
Ensure all bag in boxes are in date.
Have a qualified service person inspect and clean your water pump and check valve yearly.
Have a qualified service person inspect and service your CO2 gas check valve yearly.
Check your product regularly to ensure clean taste and smell.
Ensure personnel operating the soda machine have clean hands.
When flushing the lines, ensure your gloves are clean, otherwise you could re-infect the clean tubes.
Karen Lovell started writing professionally in 2009. She specializes in diet, nutrition and exercise along with the information technology, hospitality and catering industries. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Lovell holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and English from Greenwich University.