Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Method Comparison: Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde has many properties which make it a highly effective sterilizing agent. The earliest reports of its use as a fumigant date back to the 1880s, and it has remained the chemical of choice for laboratory fumigation for decades. Like chlorine dioxide, formaldehyde is a true gas that has excellent distribution and penetration completely filling any area it is injected into. However, to be effective, formaldehyde requires long contact times (on the order of 6-12 hours), and the gas requires a post-exposure neutralization step after the contact time is completed. This neutralization step leaves residuals which must be cleaned after the decontamination.

Formaldehyde usage may be simple and inexpensive, but concerns exist over its toxicity and carcinogenicity. In fact, the European Union has banned its use in certain applications. Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical that is classified as a Group 1 human carcinogen. Largely for these reasons, formaldehyde is being used less and less for decontamination.  Gaseous chlorine dioxide is being chosen by many facilities as a safer and more effective fumigation alternative.

Learn more here from a 2011 study that compared six different microbial fumigation methods with the goal to evaluate the biocidal efficacy of alternatives to formaldehyde.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Can You See CD?

Chlorine dioxide (CD) is a greenish-yellow gas with a chlorine-like odor recognized since the beginning of the 20th century for its disinfecting properties. At every installation and service decontamination that we have done, people are always excited to see the room or chamber filled with the yellow-green gas. The visibility confirms the fact that chlorine dioxide gas gets great distribution. It also provides a safety advantage, as the gas is recognizable inside the space, so it is visually known to be unsafe to enter.


Due to its yellow-green color, chlorine dioxide gas can be measured using a highly accurate uv-vis spectrophotometer.  The photometer shines a light through a sample of chlorine dioxide gas taken from the area being decontaminated and measures how much light was absorbed by the CD Gas.  CD Gas becomes darker in color the higher the concentration becomes, which in turn blocks more of the source light.  The photometer then converts the amount of light absorbed into a numerical value for the CD Gas concentration.  This method of concentration monitoring is highly accurate as it focuses on a specific wavelength of light, and is able to handle fluctuations in concentration rapidly compared to chemical sensors.  Measuring the concentration of gas at a single location within a space is able to accurately provide the true concentration of gas at all locations within the space. 

Learn more about the process and benefits of chlorine dioxide gas decontamination on November 13th or December 11th at our CD 101 webinar.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Dirty Secret Of Commercial Kitchens Exposed

Guest Post written by Karoline Gore

Around 48 million illnesses and 3,000 deaths are caused every year by food contamination in the United States alone. This is quite alarming as today’s technological advancements and exposure to safe cleaning methods should drop these figures down to the bare minimum. Although sourcing meat and produce from reputable establishments is a start, one of the best places to stop the spreading of harmful bacteria is in a commercial kitchen.

Dirt Traps In Commercial Kitchens

With 50% of foodborne diseases linked to restaurants, it’s important that restaurateurs know which areas are known for causing trouble. Countertops, cutting boards and prep surfaces all need a good clean and it’s important to have designated prep areas for the different types of food. But these are obvious areas that deserve special attention. An area that doesn’t really garner that much attention is the knife block, which is said to carry as much as nine times the bacteria of a bathroom floor. Other areas worth mentioning include floor joints and grouting, loose seals on countertops, and the vegetable storage rack.

Restaurant Patrons Unknowingly Exposed

Although patrons are aware that menus are high carriers for a number of bacteria and germs, another item that reaches the table less than sanitized is a glass, particularly the rim of the glass. While crockery often gets a thorough clean with industrial equipment that uses high heat and steam to sanitize, germs get right back on the glass when staff handle the glasses for serving. Glasses are the sixth most popular place for germs to lurk and if it happens to have a slice of lemon, this figure goes up substantially. Pathogens simply move from one spot to another.

Cold Rooms And Fridges Deserve A Thorough Clean

While rotting produce and meat that’s gone beyond its use-by date are obvious targets when it comes to a good cold room cleanout, these areas require more than just a quick clean. According to The National Sanitation Foundation, there are a number of germs that lurk in these depths, making a deep clean imperative. In the vegetable department, restaurateurs can expect to find salmonella, yeast, listeria, and mold. The meat compartment may contain salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold.

Keeping a commercial kitchen clean is imperative for the safety of the staff and patrons. Regular hand wash and disinfectant stations, as well as a good housekeeping regime, should keep bacteria at bay.

Method Comparison: Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde has many properties which make it a highly effective sterilizing agent. The earliest reports of its use as a fumigant date back...