If you've ever worked in a fast-food restaurant or a restaurant in general, chances are that you are familiar with the commercial ice makers that produce tons of ice for soft drinks. There is typically a scoop on the side of the machine, and sometimes even a big paddle of sorts to help someone break down larger chunks of ice, or parts that are frozen over. That being said, have you ever thought about the cleanliness of that machine and the water used to make the ice? Probably not, and maybe you should start.

A viral video on TikTok reveals some pretty filthy ice at a fast-food establishment, something that is not at all uncommon and all too often overlooked. Sometimes, when you believe you have food poisoning from a meal, it may NOT have been caused by the food you ate, but rather, the ice in your drink.

Mold and dirty water can linger in a machine that is not properly maintained and that could definitely lead to some tummy trouble when ingested. As someone that has worked in the service industry for the bulk of their life, I can tell you first hand that I have seen some filthy and horrific things when it comes to a restaurant's ice machine. Why that piece of equipment seems to be neglected more often than not, is likely because it can be a pain in the ass to clean and a daunting task that nobody around wants to handle. It's an afterthought in a busy restaurant, and that's totally not okay.

While there is no valid excuse for letting the machine become so full of crud that is unsafe for human consumption, but it happens, and the best thing you can do to avoid it, is to order your drinks with no ice, or to at least order clear beverages so that when you take the lid off of your drink, you can see there are no black particles of crud floating around in there. Dark-colored sodas may be masking some icky stuff in your cup.

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Some germy nasty things are invisible, like the raw chicken on someone's hands that has last used the ice scoop. There were countless instances of myself personally asking my employees to PLEASE wash their hands before getting ice, and to put the ice scoop back into its proper holster on the side of the machine. Everyone seems to grab it in a rush, use it, and throw it back into the ice, which is a BIG TIME no-no.

If you've ever gotten to the end of your sprite from McDonald's and noticed a couple of tiny black specks in the bottom of your cup, it's safe to assume that their ice machine is dirty as hell. Just say no to restaurant ice, and save yourself from whatever strange hell their machine might possess. From high-end dining to a little burger joint, there is no safe haven from dirty ice.

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