After posting about Summertime Granita Recipes, I received a note from Larry and Shannon of Dunrovin Resort in Hines, Minnesota regarding the use of soft serve ice cream in our Ultra machines. They were wondering about how often the equipment should be cleaned. Since we get these questions regularly, we decided it would be a good idea to share our response.
The answer to the question about using soft serve in the BUNN Ultra is really determined by the type of product you're trying to serve. The Ultra is NSF (food safety) listed for dairy products and as I mentioned in the previous blog post, we use it for this regularly. But before you decide to try soft serve in your Ultra machine, let's dive a little deeper into the definition of the term "soft serve".
Typically "soft serve" is used to describe a frozen dairy or yogurt based product that can be served in cups or cones. A true "soft serve" will dispense the product thick enough to pile high and hold its form for some time before it starts to melt. However, the BUNN Ultra is designed to dispense frozen beverages that are consumed by drinking. So the frozen ice cream or yogurt product would dispense more like a milk shake, thick enough that you could eat it with a spoon yet thin enough that you can drink it like a slushy.
Regarding the question around frequency of cleaning, BUNN strongly suggests talking to your product supplier if you plan to use a premixed product or concentrate. However, it is best practice to clean all equipment daily when used for storing and serving dairy based products. Some customers will dispense any remaining product at the end of the day into a food safe storage container and refridgerate it overnight. Then the machine can be disassembled for proper cleaning and sanitizing. The stored product is added back into the machine for serving the next day. For the non-dairy products such as typical fruity slushy drinks, most customers will clean these weekly. Follow the cleaning instructions in the manual provided with the machine.
For products that will be served and stored in an Ultra for several days, the equipment includes an automatic night time setting that will allow the product to thaw for an adjustable preset time period. For instance, if your store is closes at 10:00 PM and reopens at 7:00 AM, you can set the machine to go into "night mode" for this time period. The machine will allow the product to thaw, but keep it at a food safe temperature of around 35. In the morning it will go back to ice mode and get the slushy ready to serve. For stores that operate 24 hours, we recommend a minimum of 4 hour night mode to allow the product to thaw and remix. Try to select a time setting for night mode that will have the least impact on sales periods.
Thank you Larry and Shannon for your questions! If you have any other questions to ask or share with the BUNN team, please comment below. We would love to hear from you!
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