Saturday, February 14, 2009

Taking a Bite out of Unsafe Food

"Food is an important part of a balanced diet."
~Fran Lebowitz

All joking aside, Fran Lebowitz is right - you can't have a balanced diet without actually eating food.

But over the course of the last year, consumers have become ever-increasingly wary (fearful may be a better word) of the safety of our food supply. From E. coli scares in fresh produce and meat products to tainted milk products to the current peanut product Salmonella tragedies, food producers are coming under more scrutiny and will most likely be placed under more regulation and monitoring.

While this will hopefully protect the consumer, it also presents real and significant burdens to food processing and packing facilities to ensure the safety of the products they deliver.

And nothing is more important to food safety, in the processing and packaging realm, than cleanliness - of both machines and facilities. As we've seen, failure to meet these challenges can be catastrophic both to consumers and to the businesses and their corporate leaders.

Don't just clean - decontaminate

So how can food processors ensure that when they clean, they Really clean?

Well, according to a recently uncovered independent report (finalized in 2004) made to the Food Standards Agency in the UK, one method of cleaning has proven exceptionally effective in cleaning food processing equipment and effectively decontaminating food processing areas and equipment of Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria.

That method is dry ice blasting.

Authored by Dr. Ian Millar, Microchem Bioscience Limited, this 114 page detailed and technical report (download report) discusses the effectiveness of dry ice blasting in decontaminating various food grade surfaces, including stainless steel, ceramic tiles, and food grade plastics and plastic surface coatings. For the purposes of his testing, Dr. Miller used Cold Jet dry ice blasting equipment. Per his report:
The Cold Jet dry ice blasting process effectively decontaminated surfaces of Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli, and Listeria monocytogenes such that these microorganisms were not detectable using conventional microbiological methods after a defined dry ice blasting treatment. Decreases in target bacterial populations by a factor of 10,000 or more were obtained, and that this was due to the combined application of dry ice pellets and compressed air was shown experimentally.

The Cold Jet system has been shown to be effective in cleaning and disinfecting various food grade surfaces. It has a distinct advantage over conventional cleaning and disinfection techniques in that there are no chemical residues left behind after treatment, and no chemical wastes to treat and dispose of.

In other words, dry ice blasting rocks when it comes to cleaning food processing equipment and facilities.

Do it for Love

"There is no love sincerer than the love of food."
~George Bernard Shaw

So if you're in the business of bringing the love of food alive for people across the globe - don't take a chance on killing them with love!

On this Valentine's day make your commitment to keep your facilities as clean as they can possibly be using a method that's proven and effective (and environmentally sound): dry ice blast cleaning. We will all be glad you did.


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