Is there any special maintenance required in order to maintain food safety and keep the printer operating correctly?
For example, do I need to manually clean the print head periodically to prevent clogging or bacterial growth?
Also, how concerned should I be about bacterial growth in edible ink cartridges with sponges vs. those without sponges?
Everything I've found regarding mold and bacteria in edible ink printing seems to be vendor-promoted propaganda centered on the cartridges and ink themselves, and seem to reference examples of bacteria in kitchen sponges rather than in inkjet sponges. They do not mention mold or bacterial growth on the print head or in the printer's built-in sponge, each of which has a longer service life than an ink cartridge.
One edible ink vendor has a nice maintenance guide which somewhat addresses my question as it pertains to clogging, and it claims an average of 8 months for a print head's service life when used with edible ink. However, it focuses only on functional concerns and ignores the topic of mold/bacteria. Also, some of the other information in the document contradicts other online information about edible printing so I'm unsure about the validity of the document as a whole.