Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Top Reasons to Attend the 2020 Food Safety and Microbiology Conference

In response to the everyday challenges food safety professionals face, ClorDiSys Solutions and Kornacki Microbiology Solutions, Inc organized the Annual Food Safety and Microbiology Conference. With 2020 being our fourth year, we invite those working in industry, government, or research focused on food microbiology, quality assurance and control, sanitation, plant management, technical services, or operations to this 2.5 day event covering a variety of topics from new legislation to new technologies. If this sounds like you, here are a few reasons why you cannot miss this conference.

LEARN FROM FOOD SAFETY EXPERTS & INDUSTRY LEADERS
You'll be able to meet, listen to, and learn from world class speakers with a variety of backgrounds. These industry, academic, and governmental food safety professionals will be available outside of their presentation times for introductions and additional questions.

WORLD CLASS CONTENT
This conference aims to deliver high-level problem solving sessions in order to elevate your food safety program and address emerging food safety issues.  The agenda will feature a mix of regulatory information, microbiological tips and tricks, and innovative solutions in order to provide a well-rounded balance for all attendees.  Upon leaving, you'll have clear takeaways which will help improve your company operate cleaner, safer, and more efficient than ever before.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
This year’s conference is being held at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, located along the River Walk, San Antonio’s most popular attraction. Walking distance from restaurants, bars, shops, and the Alamo, this landmark hotel features rich South Texas stylings and original art. Be sure to check out their five onsite restaurants and bars – Coffee Cupboard, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub, River’s Edge CafĂ©, Tex’s Sports Bar (the only sports bar on the River Walk) and Rincon Alegre Lobby Bar. Oh, did we mention it is only eight miles from the San Antonio Airport?

HAVE FUN WITH YOUR INDUSTRY PEERS
This Annual Conference is a lot of learning packed into a short amount of time, but you’ll also have opportunities to relax and get to know your industry peers. Join us for traditional Mexican food, drinks, and a live performance by Mariachi Alma de Jalisco at our Preconference Mixer Sunday evening, the Monday happy hour reception sponsored by Food Safety Net Services, and the one-hour narrated Go Rio River Cruise Wednesday afternoon, an unforgettable way to experience the world-famous San Antonio River Walk. Admission to all activities is included in the registration fee.

To learn more about the program and registration, click here. We hope to see you in Texas!



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Controlling Spoilage Organisms and Pathogens on Food Products

Last month, the Michigan-based company, North Bay Produce, voluntarily recalled over 2,000 cases of fresh apples due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recall affected a number of varieties including Fuji, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, and Red Delicious. The apples were shipped from one North Bay Produce packinghouse to wholesalers, retailers, and brokers in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. Thankfully, to date, health officials have not linked this recall to any reports of illness. With so many occurrences like this one in the news, ClorDiSys Solutions’ objective for 2020 is to further explore the control of spoilage organisms and pathogens on food products in order to help deliver a safer product to consumers.

ClorDiSys Solutions has always been a company driven by research.  Starting with chlorine dioxide’s effect on organisms within the environment, we've implemented those findings into our operations to better maintain safe food processing environments. Next year, we would like to focus on working with the FDA to obtain approval to decontaminate individual food items in order to control spoilage organisms and other pathogens that cause foodborne illness. We have been approved to treat blueberries and potatoes, and our company is currently exploring the treatment of walnuts and apples. ClorDiSys has also done preliminary research on other food types including seeds and grains.

If you’re interested in new methods to control spoilage organisms and pathogens on product within your supply chain, contact us to start a conversation.  We have a number of solutions within our company which may help including liquid chlorine dioxide, ultraviolet light, and gaseous chlorine dioxide. We have a few food contact notices involving chlorine dioxide currently, which can be read about here. With partnerships to many food safety experts and laboratories throughout the world, we provide a global network to take on any challenge.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Establishing Sterility in a New Facility

ClorDiSys' decontamination services take place primarily for contamination response, commissioning of new construction or renovated spaces, and routine preventive decontamination. The majority of what we do are large areas and entire facilities to get rid of widespread contamination problems and really give a baseline sterilization mark. With years of experience across a wide variety of industries and facility ages, we have a number of tricks and options to accommodate any project.

Recently our Decontamination Service team helped a biomedical research client who was moving into a larger building previously occupied by another company.  The building was renovated in order to handle the needs of the client, with a new ventilation system installed as part of that renovation.  Equipment was moved in from their previous location, and the ventilation system was balanced.  As the last step, the facility would undergo a chlorine dioxide gas treatment to provide a 6-log sterilization level kill before officially opening for research.  This enabled all of the equipment to be sterilized along with the building.  This is safer and faster than autoclaving everything in, as that process cannot be used on animal rack filters and most electronics.  Those materials typically do not receive a high-level decontamination if chlorine dioxide gas isn’t utilized as other liquid based decontamination methods are similarly incompatible.  The decontamination took place over the course of an 8-hour shift, with all process parameters being met to achieve the targeted 6-log sporicidal reduction.  Afterwards, the client was safe to start occupying the facility and begin their research.

Generally speaking, if the space can be sealed, it can be decontaminated. Some of the more common applications are buildings with unique layouts and multiple floors, processing and production areas, HEPA housing and ductwork, cold rooms, even tented pieces of equipment. If you are interested in exploring a decontamination service project for your facility, click here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Case Study: Listeria Control in a Ready-to-Eat Food Facility

Listeria monocytogenes' ability to survive in extreme conditions and form biofilms on various surfaces is a significant challenge for food safety. Last week, members of our Decontamination Service team helped a ready-to-eat food facility win the fight against l. monocytogenes. Treating an area just shy of 1,000,000 ft3, the service team completed the decontamination in just two days thanks to a very helpful in-house staff.  The first day consisted of sealing the space from the surrounding areas and sealing the ventilation system off at the roof.  Chlorine dioxide gas generators were setup with tubing run to various locations within the space to speed up the natural gas distribution.  50 biological indicators, all containing over a million bacterial spores, were placed at locations chosen by the facility's Quality Assurance and Food Safety personnel.  The decontamination itself took place on the second day, with gas concentrations being monitored continuously throughout the process from multiple locations throughout the space.  Once the final sampling location eclipsed the target dosage, the decontamination was deemed complete, and the gas was aerated from the facility.  Once the gas was removed and the area was safe for reentry, our team retrieved our supplies and packed them up.  Biological indicators were recovered and processed the next day to check for growth.  After 36 hours of incubation, all biological indicators were negative for growth, capping off a successful decontamination.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

FDA November Discussion on Ethylene Oxide Replacement

Ethylene oxide (EtO) medical device sterilization has come under fire recently. Thirty-two people have filed claims against ethylene oxide sterilizing company Sterigenics, believing emissions has led to cause cancer in their bodies. The Chicago Sun Times reports:
“They’ve known for 34 years and they willfully pumped this out in our communities ...,” said Jeanne Hochhalter. "Nobody should have to go through anything like this." Hochhalter, who grew up in Burr Ridge, was one of 32 people who filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County this week against Sterigenics, which has a plant in Willowbrook where medical instruments are sterilized. In February, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency shut down the facility after air quality monitoring recorded spikes of the gas ethylene oxide in surrounding neighborhoods (Esposito 2019).
Despite the environmental concern and public outrage, Sterigenics was allowed to reopen the Willowbrook facility in July.  However, the risk is still found in ethylene oxide sterilization.  In 2016, EPA published an updated Information on the Integrated Risk Information System determination which classified ethylene oxide to be a carcinogenic gas. Now, there is a consideration for an alternative sterilization method to be found, however due to the high level of use, it will be a great feat to switch, plus there is a risk of not having the proper ability to handle the workload either.

Ethylene oxide currently bears the brunt of the medical device sterilization in the country:
Currently, ethylene oxide is used to sterilize more than half of medical devices that need sterilization due to its chemical compatibility with many different device materials and ability to treat devices that are heat- or moisture-sensitive.
The second most common method to sterilize medical devices is radiation, such as gamma irradiation, X-ray radiation and electron beam radiation, which collectively represents about 45% of devices currently being sterilized.
The other common method currently is using pressurized steam, constituting about 5% of sterilization, according to FDA (BioMed Tech, Lim, 2019).
The FDA organized regulators from public health agencies, medical device manufacturers and expert physicians gathering Wednesday November 6th and Thursday November 7th at a two-day meeting to discuss how to address challenges with ethylene oxide. The FDA is looking to determine if there is a viable alternative for large scale medical device sterilization. There are many determinants, but one is if there is an elimination of ethylene oxide, what the FDA can do to prevent device shortages if reduced sterilization capabilities come to pass. New concerns present many challenges to an industry, but offer many opportunities for advancement in the possible use of even greater technology as well.

ClorDiSys Solutions Inc’s Director of Operations, Paul Lorcheim, is a panel member presenting an alternative sterilization technology method, chlorine dioxide.  Chlorine dioxide has long been determined safe for use on medical devices, particularly because it does not leave residues and it is an EPA registered sterilant. The FDA has the webcast day one of the meeting here, and day two is webcast here.


Sources
Esposito, Stefano. “Lawsuits Filed against Medical Supply Sterilization Plant Linked to
Increased Cancer Rates.” Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Sun-Times, 20 Aug. 2019, https://chicago.suntimes.com/metro-state/2019/8/20/20814132/lawsuit-medical-supply-sterilization-company-linked-increased-cancer-rates-sterigenics-willowbrook.

Lim, D. (2019, November 6). 7 questions about ethylene oxide as FDA panel convenes.
Retrieved from https://www.medtechdive.com/news/7-questions-about-ethylene-oxide-as-fda-panel-convenes/566713/.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

AALAS National Meeting 2019 Recap

Each fall since 1950, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) has held its annual National Meeting. The AALAS National Meeting is the largest gathering in the world of professionals concerned with the production, care, and use of laboratory animals. The 2019 meeting was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver from October 13-17th. The spotlight forum was, "One Health–Connections Between Animal, Human, and Environmental Health. ClorDiSys Solutions exhibited at the National Meeting, one of our biggest shows of the year, in booth #209. The life sciences were really the second industry ClorDiSys introduced their products and services following our original focus on the pharmaceutical market.

We hosted a small dinner reception for AALAS attendees at the Denver Firefighters Museum after exhibit hall hours Tuesday evening. ClorDiSys provided a delicious BBQ dinner catered by Roaming Buffalo, and our guests had full access to all of the historic firehouse’s exhibits. From well-preserved lockers to restored antique firetrucks, even a 9/11 memorial, it really was a walk through history. The 2020 National Meeting is scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, so we are open to suggestions for any local gems to take our group next year. Thank you to all who could join us!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

ClorDiSys' Trip to Jamaica to Address Mold Prevention and Remediation

ClorDiSys Solutions' Director of Technology, Mark Czarneski, was recently down in Jamaica at the annual CanEx Jamaica Business Conference & Expo, which provided our company with the opportunity to explore the Caribbean agricultural market.  We learned from a variety of countries what their concerns are with regards to mold, mildew, and pathogens.  Throughout the growing cycle, and after, ClorDiSys has the ability to prevent and remediate these issues.  We are able to do so through unique and ever-changing approaches depending on the terrain, crop, and needs of the grower as well as the consumer's needs and requirements.  We currently have studies underway utilizing our ultraviolet light disinfection systems on a commercial farm in Montego Bay. We are both excited and optimistic about the successful results.

Mark Czarneski, Director of Techonology - ClorDiSys Solutions

ClorDiSys with Honorable Audley Shaw, the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries of Jamaica

ClorDiSys with Sabato Scofield Caesar, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, and Industry of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Case Study: Airline and Retail Catering Kitchen

ClorDiSys Solutions has a wide range of experience within the food industry, having worked in Ready-to-Eat (RTE) facilities, dairy facilities, commercial kitchens, pet food facilities, and beverage plants. Biodecontamination can take place for a variety of applications. Recently, our Decontamination Services team performed a decontamination at a catering kitchen for airlines and airport retail locations.  The facility was fighting some positive environmental results and needed to regain control.  Due to the busy nature of their operation, limiting the stoppage of production was extremely important.  The chlorine dioxide gas process requires the environment to be fully sealed off from surrounding areas for safety.  The Cold Food Production Area was able to be sealed off quickly, while the Hot Food Kitchen required a much greater level of attention in order to properly seal it off from surrounding areas.  With this in mind, a two-tiered approach was taken in order to balance efficacy and treatment times.  Within the Cold Food Production Area, chlorine dioxide gas was utilized to provide a 6-log sterilization level kill of all surfaces within the space.  The Hot Food Kitchen would sanitized by fogging the area with a liquid chlorine dioxide solution.  This process does not require as tight of a seal, in turn requiring less set-up time.  This allowed both areas to be treated within the allotted downtime, while still providing an adequate level of treatment.  Environmental monitoring results taken after the treatment came back negative, and the chlorine dioxide decontamination was shown to be successful.

Generally speaking, if the space can be sealed, it can be decontaminated. If you have a service project you'd like to explore, contact us here.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Case Study: Tented Equipment in a Laboratory

ClorDiSys provides biodecontamination services for routine or single-time events, specializing in contamination prevention and response. Last week, our Decontamination Service team was in the Midwest to perform a decon at a research facility.  Our team was brought in to decontaminate a CliniMACS Prodigy® Instrument manufactured by Miltenyi Biotec.  The CliniMACS Prodigy allows for automated cell processing within a closed system and was shipped to the research facility to be used for a contract research project within their laboratory.  The research facility required the decontamination to take place to ensure that the incoming device would be sterile before entering the laboratory.  Being a small device, the CliniMACS Prodigy was moved into an airlock and tented for decontamination.  Tenting the CliniMACS Prodigy took approximately 20 minutes, and the decontamination started shortly thereafter.  The decontamination took a total of 2 hours. After which, the chlorine dioxide gas was removed using a carbon scrubber.  Once complete, the tent was removed from the CliniMACS Prodigy, and it was safe to be brought into the laboratory.

ClorDiSys' chlorine dioxide gas technology allows for a complete decontamination of your facility, room, equipment, or ductwork with minimal downtime. View a sample of some other decontamination service projects here, and Request a Decontamination Service Quote if you have a project you'd like to explore.

Monday, September 9, 2019

AirGlow: In-duct Ultraviolet Light Disinfection System

AirGlow™ is an in-duct ultraviolet light disinfection system that can be installed in any HVAC system. Ultraviolet light (UV) is a specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum of light that offers bactericidal effects. When a micro-organism is exposed to UV-C, the nuclei of the cells are altered due to photolytic processes. This process prevents further replication and causes cell death. As air passes the quartz glass UV-C bulbs of the AirGlow, the travelling air is disinfected, and harmful organisms that may have been present are killed. This provides continuous disinfection without special attention or risk of exposure to people in room.

The AirGlow can be utilized for two distinct purposes. To help reduce and/or eliminate the growth of bacteria, mold and spores as well as prevent the spread of airborne transmitted diseases, the AirGlow would be positioned parallel to the airflow to maximize contact time on the organisms. To improve energy efficiency, the AirGlow would be positioned parallel to the cooling coils. Used in this configuration, biofilm production on the coils is prevented. Biofilms are known to increase static pressure and cause the HVAC system to work harder and less efficient. Clean coils can deliver a 30% increase in cooling capacity which in turn reduces energy consumption and costs.

The AirGlow is constructed of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and it is offered in a variety of sizes. The following information is required to size an ultraviolet system for duct air treatment:
Duct or plenum size
Length of compartment or duct where AirGlow is to be installed
Air speed typically provided in cfm (cubic feet per minute)
Approximate air temperature

If you are interested in learning more about the AirGlow™ and how it can benefit your company’s HVAC, call ClorDiSys at (908) 236-4100. If you would like more information about sizes and pricing, request a quote here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Can Your Facility Benefit from Use of a Portable Decontamination Chamber?

The ClorDiSys Portable Chlorine Dioxide Gas Decontamination Chamber is used in conjunction with a CD Generator to provide a rapid and highly effective method to decontaminate small and medium sized equipment and components. Both the chamber and the gas generator are easily portable allowing for a decontamination station to be set up anywhere in your facility. Items can be treated near the point of contamination reducing the possibility of spreading the potential risk, or components can be sterilized before use, then safely moved under aseptic conditions to a different part of your facility. Decontamination time can be under 90 minutes for a 63 ft3 (1.8 m3) chamber and costs under $7 in consumables per cycle.

The Portable Decontamination Chamber comes equipped with all necessary connections to easily interface with our chlorine dioxide gas generators. All of ClorDiSys' Portable Decontamination Chambers are manufactured with the utmost of care and made of rugged, durable materials to stand up to the demands of continuous use. The Chamber contains removable shelving inside, so both your large and multiple small items can be decontaminated by adding or removing shelving levels as needed.  It can connect to your facility’s exhaust system for direct aeration or utilize an integrated carbon scrubber to remove the gas from the chamber. The Portable Decontamination Chamber pictured is 70"W x 72"H x 30"D (178 cm x 183 cm x 76 cm), and has a decontamination capacity of 75 ft3 (2 m3), however, ClorDiSys works closely with all of its customers to provide a custom solution for any situation.

Visit our product page to learn more or request a portable decontamination chamber quote.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Dangerous Reality of Drinking a Disinfectant

The FDA recently issued a warning for sodium chlorite products such as “Miracle” or “Master” Mineral Solution. At ClorDiSys, we would like to echo these concerns, as we do not recommend the ingestion of sodium chlorite or chlorine dioxide.  These products are sold online as “treatments” by many independent distributors. Such products go by a variety of names including Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, MMS, Chlorine Dioxide (CD) Protocol, and Water Purification Solution (WPS). Websites selling Miracle Mineral Solution describe the product as a liquid that is 28 percent sodium chlorite in distilled water. When mixed according to package directions with citric acid, that liquid becomes chlorine dioxide.  Some distributors promote on social media dangerous claims that this is an antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial liquid that is a remedy for autism, cancer, flu, and other conditions. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not aware of any research showing that these products are safe or effective for treating any illness. In fact, the agency has received many reports that these products have made consumers sick, and they strongly urge consumers to discontinue their use and not to purchase them.

As a world leader in chlorine dioxide, ClorDiSys Solutions has received phone calls from curious consumers asking if it is safe to ingest these or any of our products. Our response aligns with that of the FDA. Both sodium chlorite and chlorine dioxide are not meant to be consumed by people. Drinking any of these chlorine dioxide products can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration, or even death. Please click here to read more from the FDA’s consumer warning. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection UV-C Check Strips


There are many industries where disinfection without the use of chemicals is critical, and ultraviolet light can provide a safe, effective solution. To ensure light exposure during a disinfection cycle, UV-C Check Strips are used. UV-C Check Strips are photochromic intensity indicators that create a simple, reliable, low cost method of monitoring ultraviolet light intensity. The Check Strips have an adhesive backing that allows for easy application to any surface.  When exposed to UV-C, the yellow labels undergo a gradual color change from yellow to green that is directly related to the energy value received.  With increased exposure, the indicator labels will deepen in color. While this color change does not guarantee sterilization, it is a way to provide validation of disinfection in a clear and easy manner.  UV-C Check Strips are important in ensuring that packaging or surfaces have indeed been exposed to germicidal ultraviolet light.


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

ClorDiSys Disinfection Services

If your facility does not necessarily require a 6-log (99.9999%) sterilization level decontamination, ClorDiSys does offer alternative disinfection options to our chlorine dioxide gas services. However, please note, the difference between spore and bacterial inactivation is the same as the difference between sterilization and disinfection. For a chemical agent to be classified as a sterilant, it must be demonstrated to be effective at inactivating spores, the hardest organisms to kill. Disinfection, on the other hand, does not require the complete inactivation of spores or all microbial life and is normally validated against a few vegetative bacteria species. For this reason, disinfecting agents are less rigorous decontaminating agents and are not as effective as sterilizing agents.

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection Services
ClorDiSys offers ultraviolet light services for contamination response or routine preventive disinfection. Ultraviolet light provides a quick, chemical free disinfection method capable of eliminating viruses, bacteria, and mold from the air and visible surfaces. UV-C is extremely inexpensive, and disinfection cycles are fast, allowing for quick turnover times of the spaces being disinfected. Utilizing products such as our Torch UV Tower, we can get a calculated 99% reduction of bacteria in 1 minute and spores in 5 minutes. Rooms, vehicles, and other enclosed spaces can be disinfected quickly and safely using this residue free process.

Chlorine Dioxide Fogging Disinfection Services
ClorDiSys also provides disinfection fogging services with liquid chlorine dioxide. The liquid chlorine dioxide is sprayed on surfaces at concentrations capable of eliminating viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores. Handheld foggers are used, so a trained technician can reach more surfaces than a stationary fogger, by opening enclosures and changing the angle of application in order to minimize shadow areas which are not being contacted.

In one case, a new facility was disinfected by fogging with a liquid chlorine dioxide to provide a clean start for research taking place within the facility.  A high concentration liquid chlorine dioxide was fogged throughout the facility, similar to a hydrogen peroxide vapor treatment.  A team opened drawers, cabinets, and equipment in order to ensure that all visible surfaces were sprayed and treated with liquid chlorine dioxide. This method offers a level of disinfection comparable to utilizing VPHP.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Reception at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

Following the IAFP exhibit hall hours on Monday, July 22nd, ClorDiSys Solutions hosted a reception at Kentucky’s first commercial distiller, Evan Williams. Located on Louisville’s historic Whiskey Row, guests entered through a safe door and took a step back in time to the Age of Prohibition where catered hors d’oeuvres and drinks were served in the venue’s “Speakeasy”.

We also had the opportunity to experience an Open House Tour of the distillery. On this self-guided tour, we passed recreations of the Louisville wharf in the late 18th Century as well as Whiskey Row from the late 1800’s through the present. Evan Williams’ Bourbon Hosts were stationed along the way to educate us and lead in four premium bourbon tastings. Additionally, we saw a state-of-the-art, modern, operating distillery utilizing the same type of pot stills as the early Bourbon-making days.

Thank you to all who were able to join us at this event, and congratulations to those who won our giveaways including an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet and an Echo Show. This reception is certainly going to be a tough act to follow in Cleveland for the 2020 IAFP Annual Meeting, but we are up for the challenge.

Top Reasons to Attend the 2020 Food Safety and Microbiology Conference

In response to the everyday challenges food safety professionals face, ClorDiSys Solutions and Kornacki Microbiology Solutions, Inc organize...