Friday, May 17, 2019

The Myths and Misconceptions of Chlorine Dioxide Gas


Chlorine dioxide gas has been recognized as a disinfectant since the early 1900's, and it has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for many applications in a variety of industries. It has been demonstrated effective as a broad spectrum, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal agent, as well as a deodorizer. Even though chlorine dioxide has been around for over a century, there is still a surprising amount of inaccurate information and misconceptions. We would like to take the opportunity to address some of those misrepresentations.

CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
Although chlorine dioxide has "chlorine" in its name, its chemistry is radically different from that of chlorine. When reacting with other substances, it is weaker and more selective, allowing it to be a more efficient and effective sterilizer. For example, it does not react with ammonia or most organic compounds. Most importantly, chlorine dioxide oxidizes products rather than chlorinating them, eliminating the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs) and other environmentally undesirable chlorinated organic compounds.

SAFETY
The very reason decontaminating agents are used is for the purpose of killing organisms. As such, no agent can truly claim to be safe. However, chlorine dioxide gas is the safest fumigant available, due to its physical attributes and process advantages. Chlorine dioxide is not classified as a carcinogen by any health agency. Chlorine dioxide does have an odor similar to chlorine, which is beneficial because chlorine is such a recognizable smell. The odor detection level is very similar to the OSHA 8-hr safety level of .1 ppm allowing you to detect any gas leakage quickly. Cycle times are shorter with CD gas due to its faster aeration time to safe levels. This means that a potentially unsafe condition exists for a far shorter time when using CD for room decontamination.

WATER SOLUBILITY
Unlike many decontaminating agents, chlorine dioxide has the unique ability to retain its sterilization capacity in water. Chlorine reacts with water to form hydrochloric acid, but chlorine dioxide does not, maintaining a neutral pH in water. Gaseous CD is the only decontaminating fumigant that penetrates water, decontaminating both the water and the surface beneath.

MATERIAL COMPATIBILITY
The leading liquid chlorine dioxide solutions are produced through the mixing of an acid and a base. It is this acid which makes the liquid chlorine dioxide solution highly corrosive. ClorDiSys, however, does not produce chlorine dioxide gas in this same way. The method of generation ClorDiSys uses is a completely dry process where a 2% chlorine, 98% nitrogen gas flows through a matrix of sodium chlorite to produce producing 100% pure chlorine dioxide gas. The chlorine dioxide gas generated through the ClorDiSys process has an oxidation potential that is 1.5 times less that of vapor-phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP), making it technically less corrosive. Because ours is a pure and dry process, our chlorine dioxide gas doesn’t leave a residue and does not require additional cleanup.

MORE COMMONLY USED THAN YOU THINK
Chlorine dioxide is widely used as an antimicrobial and as an oxidizing agent in drinking water, poultry process water, swimming pools, and mouthwash preparations. It is used to sanitize fruit and vegetables and also equipment for food and beverage processing. It is also employed in life science research laboratories, pharmaceutical facilities, and the healthcare industry to decontaminate rooms, passthroughs, isolators, and ductwork as well as product and component sterilization. It is also extensively used to bleach, deodorize, and detoxify a wide variety of materials, including cellulose, paper-pulp, flour, leather, fats and oils, and textiles. Approximately 4 to 5 million pounds are used daily.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Contract Sterilization


ClorDiSys Solutions offers Contract Sterilization Services where we can decontaminate your items, equipment, supplies, and products at our facility and then ship them back to you or onward to a third party. ClorDiSys utilizes chlorine dioxide gas, a US EPA registered sterilant capable of killing all viruses, bacteria, fungi, and spores. Chlorine dioxide gas is also effective against beta lactams such as Penicillins, Cephalosporins, and Carbapenums as well as amplicons and pinworm eggs. Customers can choose to single or double wrap items in Tyvek and may include biological indicators as well. Turnaround time is traditionally 24 hours, with items typically being shipped back the day after they arrive. In some cases, turnaround time can be hours, with the items arriving, being treated, and shipped on the same day. Upon completion, you will be issued a Contract Decontamination Certification Sheet describing the process and showing the sterilization cycle data.



APPLICATIONS 
  • Sterilization for Non-Sterile Facilities
    • Medical Devices, Instruments, HEPA and other Sterilizing Filters
  • Equipment, Components, and Items entering a Clean Facility
    • Tools, Computers, Printers, Keyboards, RFID Tags, Monitoring Instruments, Microscopes, Animal Cages, Shoes, and Safety Glasses
  • Decontamination of Contaminated Components
    • Returns from user sites, mold issues, pinworm eggs, amplicons, and beta lactams

View our sample submittal form and call the office at (908) 236-4100 with any questions.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Chlorine Dioxide: What Does it Kill?

ClorDiSys' chlorine dioxide (CD) gas is registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a sterilizer (EPA Reg#: 80802-1). The US EPA defines a sterilizer as able "to destroy or eliminate all forms of microbial life including fungi, viruses, and all forms of bacteria and their spores," meaning ClorDiSys' chlorine dioxide gas will inactivate any form of antimicrobial life including spores. Spores are among the hardest organisms to kill and for this reason sterilizing agents are considered the most rigorous decontaminating agents. The difference between spore and bacterial inactivation is the same as the difference between sterilization and disinfection. CD gas is also proven effective against beta-lactams, pinworm eggs, and amplicons. Testing has been done using chlorine dioxide on a multitude of specific organism types. A table with some of the more commonly seen organisms that chlorine dioxide has been proven to eliminate can be viewed here. As testing is constantly ongoing, this is not to be thought of as a complete list of organisms in which chlorine dioxide gas is effective against. To date, no organism tested against CD gas has proved resistant.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Chlorine Dioxide & Food Contact Surfaces

As a residue free process, chlorine dioxide gas is safe for use on food contact surfaces. It is even on the National Organic Program's List of Approved and Prohibited Substances as an approved substance for use on organic foods. ClorDiSys has also been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) for antimicrobial fruit and vegetable rinses in both the gaseous and liquid states with more approvals in the works now.

Chlorine dioxide’s use is allowed under FDA jurisdiction as given in the following regulations: 
  • 21 CFR PART 173 -- SECONDARY DIRECT FOOD ADDITIVES PERMITTED IN FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
  • 21 CFR PART 178 -- INDIRECT FOOD ADDITIVES: ADJUVANTS, PRODUCTION AIDS, AND SANITIZERS
  • 21 CFR PART 137 -- CEREAL FLOURS AND RELATED PRODUCTS 
  • GRAS Notice 062, GRAS Notice 161

The above incorporate a variety of industry applications including chlorine dioxide’s use as an antimicrobial agent in water used in both poultry processing and for washing fruits and vegetables. It is also allowed as a sanitizing solution on food-processing equipment and utensils, to bleach whole wheat flour, and can be used in packaging materials for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. 

Food Contact Notices (FCN) are required for any new food contact substance and uses which do not fall under the scope of the regulations above. A FCN is effective for the manufacturer, the Food Contact Substance (FCS), and the conditions of use identified in the notification and not effective for a similar or identical substance produced or prepared by another manufacturer. ClorDiSys has the following food contact notices in place: 
  • FCN 1665 – Chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent used to fumigate fruits and vegetables, including raw agricultural commodities. 
  • FCN 1634 – Chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent in water used in poultry processing and to wash fruits and vegetables, including raw agricultural commodities (RAC). 
  • FCN 1421 – Chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent in air to treat fruits and vegetables. 
  • FCN 1400 – Chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent in water used in poultry processing and to wash fruits and vegetables that are not raw agricultural commodities.

Click here to view the Food Contact Notices in their entirety, and be sure to stop by Booth #1635 at next week’s Petfood Forum and Booth #433 at next month’s Food Safety Summit.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Fogging with Liquid Chlorine Dioxide

If your facility does not necessarily require a 6-log (99.9999%) sterilization level decontamination, ClorDiSys offers alternative options to our chlorine dioxide gas services including chlorine dioxide fogging. The term fogging is the method of decontamination when a liquid is applied in a mist onto a room’s surfaces. Compared to gaseous chlorine dioxide, which spreads throughout an entire facility and penetrates into the smallest cracks, fogging has some limitations.  Liquid fogging has many factors that reduce the ability of this agent to reach all the required areas for the required amount of time in order to achieve a successful decontamination cycle.  Liquids have difficulty penetrating into crevices as they cannot overcome the surface tension.   

When providing disinfection fogging services, ClorDiSys sprays surfaces with liquid chlorine dioxide applied at concentrations capable of eliminating viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores. Handheld foggers are used such that a trained technician is able to reach more surfaces than a stationary fogger by opening drawers, cabinets and enclosures, as well as changing the angle of application in order to minimize shadow areas which are not being contacted. During application, PPE such as a full-face respirator or PAPR is required for all people in the room. Safe concentrations should be verified prior to re-entry without PPE. In most cases, only minutes are required to get below 0.1 ppm prior to re-entry.

Fogging with a liquid chlorine dioxide provides a more economical disinfection method compared to gaseous decontamination, offering a value proposition for less critical contamination control applications.  Interested in learning more about fogging with liquid chlorine dioxide? Email us with any questions or potential projects.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sealing Up Spaces for Decontamination

Properly sealing a space prior to decontamination is important no matter what method is being used, as they all include some level of risk.  While sealing a space is not a highly challenging process, it does involve both a keen eye and attention to detail.  Typically, the materials used to seal a space consist of duct tape and plastic, occasionally caulk.  The general guideline to sealing a space involves the following:

Seal around any penetrations into the space

This step includes checking to see if any pipes, electrical conduit, conveyors, ductwork, or other items go through the wall/floor/ceiling.  Sometimes these penetrations are sealed, using caulk, gaskets or other means.  When they are not sealed and there is a gap for air to travel into/out of the space, additional sealing is necessary in order to contain the decontaminating agent.  If permanent sealing is appropriate, the gaps can be caulked in place.  For circumstances where permanent sealing is not allowed, duct tape is the primary sealing tool.

Sealing off the HVAC system

In order to provide the decontaminating agent the contact time necessary to achieve the level of kill desired, the space must be isolated from an active HVAC.  Depending upon how the HVAC system interacts with the space and surrounding areas, the supply and exhaust can either be sealed off at the room level or at the roof level.

Sealing doors

Finally, once the penetrations are sealed and the space is isolated from the HVAC, the doors are all that is left to be sealed.  Once again, simply using duct tape to seal around the door is sufficient to properly seal off the area being decontaminated.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection at Hospitals

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can happen in any health care facility, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and long-term care facilities.  HAIs have increased 36% over the past two decades. Patients come in contact with many items and surfaces within a hospital. Surfaces such as walls, curtains, remotes, clothing, and handrails are all potential transfer sites of infection. 41% of patient rooms had at least one surface contaminated with MRSA and/or C. difficile.1 The air is another carrier for harmful organisms, leaving the setting as a whole to be potentially very dangerous.

ClorDiSys is proud to offer a complete line of ultraviolet light disinfection products and services to enhance your healthcare facility’s infection prevention program. In the waiting rooms, operating rooms, and patient rooms, the Torch Aire-Recessed allows for continuous disinfection of the flow of air by simply replacing a ceiling tile. The Torch Aire-Recessed can disinfect all the air in a 2,100 ft3 room once every ten minutes.  Any air flowing through is being treated by the concealed UV-C bulbs that kill any pathogen that enter.  The device is quiet, effective, and since the bulbs are hidden from view, can operate even in the presence of patients and staff.

Room surfaces can be disinfected by a variety of UV disinfection systems, including the Torch and Torch+. The Torch is an inexpensive, easily transportable, powerful disinfection system used to provide a rapid and highly effective method to disinfect surfaces and common touch points to reduce the transfer of dangerous organisms. Each Torch tower produces an efficient UV-C output of 12 mJ/minute (200 μw/cm2) to get a calculated 99% reduction of MRSA in 1 minute and Clostridium difficile spores in 5 minutes. The Torch system is designed to be so economical that multiple units are affordable enough to place into a room at the same time to eliminate shadow areas and maximize coverage. For areas needing special attention, the Torch-Flex and Torch Double-Flex are capable of applying UV disinfection within tight spaces and focused areas. If a permanent option is desired, the Flashbar can be installed in the room to provide an even simpler UV system for routine disinfection. By adjusting the quantity and placement of Flashbar units in a room, decontamination can match workflow patterns involved in the facility’s layout.

Make sure your patients leave healthy and stay healthy. Learn more on April 16 at our Ultraviolet Light 101 webinar or visit Booth #1848 at next week’s AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo.


1.           Faires et al. The Identification and Epidemiology of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile in Patient Rooms and the Ward Environment. BMC Infectious Diseases 2013.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Case Studies: Protein Powder Facilities

Chlorine dioxide gas (CD) is the most effective method of decontamination available. It has been used in the food industry for many years for the decontamination of facilities, tanks, rooms, laboratories, piping systems, duct work, spiral freezers, cargo trailers, tented pieces of equipment, and so much more. Below are a couple examples of projects ClorDiSys completed in protein powder facilities.

Protein Powder Refining and Packaging Facility
This 300,000 cubic feet facility consisted of a small packaging room, a mixing room, and a dryer room. The dryer room was 70 feet in height and consisted of various processing equipment with access platforms. Even after thorough cleaning and liquid decontamination, a persistent salmonella problem could not be eradicated. ClorDiSys was able to fumigate the facility utilizing gaseous chlorine dioxide and eliminate the organisms while providing sporicidal kill of Biological Indicators (BI) placed throughout the facility.

Protein Powder Grinding, Drying, and Packaging Facility
This seven room, 200,000 cubic feet facility consisted of packaging rooms, grinding room, mixing room, and a dryer room. The rooms consisted of various processing equipment. There was also an adjacent control room and office area that were also decontaminated to ensure a thorough treatment. ClorDiSys was able to fumigate the facility utilizing gaseous chlorine dioxide and eliminate the organisms while providing sporicidal kill of Biological Indicators (BI) placed throughout the facility.

The decontamination cycle employed by ClorDiSys involves many checks and safety factors to ensure that a thorough level of kill took place. Biological Indicators, also known as BIs or spore strips, are used as a test of the process efficacy.  The BIs used by ClorDiSys consist of a paper substrate impregnated with more than a million bacterial spores wrapped within Tyvek, because this particular organism is known to be of high resistance.  BIs are placed within the area being decontaminated, usually in hard-to-reach areas or hot spots, to confirm the decontamination’s success. 

You can read more case studies from a variety of industries in our Decontamination Services brochure.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Lyophilizer Sterilization

Lyophilizer and freeze dryer are synonymous names for the same equipment. A lyophilizer (lyo) executes a water removal process typically used to preserve perishable materials, to extend shelf life or make the material more convenient for transport. It is usually decontaminated on a periodic basis and after each production batch. The standard process is to decontaminate by using steam to raise the temperature and hold it there until 6-log kill is attained. After the proper sterilization time is reached, the lyophilizer is then left to cool before product is brought in for another cycle. Because of the large thermal mass, this can take many hours. Lyophilizers also need to pull deep vacuums to perform the drying function. Heating and cooling with steam causes thermal expansion and contraction which compromises the tight tolerances required to keep the lyo sealed enough to reach deep vacuum levels. To mitigate these concerns and provide a faster sterilization cycle, chlorine dioxide gas can be used to decontaminate the components.

  • Quicker cycles with Chlorine Dioxide Gas than Steam or Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide
    • 1.5 to 3 hours depending on desired level of kill and sensitivity of components versus 24 hours for steam or 8 to 12 hours for VPHP.

  • Less stress on the lyophilizer with Chlorine Dioxide Gas than Steam 
    • No thermal stresses with CD gas as there are with steam, because there are no heating and cooling requirements.
  • No cycle development required for Chlorine Dioxide Gas
    • CD: 1 mg/liter for 2 hours or 5 mg/liter for 30 minutes of exposure. 
    • VPHP: Cycle parameters must be developed for every specific application. If ambient temperatures change, the cycle parameters most likely need to be changed.

To learn more, read our Application Note about this specific use.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Confused Flour Beetle Fumigation

The confused flour beetle is perhaps the most frequently intercepted pest of stored products. Adults and larvae feed on all cereal products, groundnuts, cacao, spices, dried figs and dates, palm kernels, various nuts, oil seeds, and cotton seed. Adults live for one to two years, are capable of flight in warmer conditions, and have been known to produce quinones, which at high population densities tend to trigger dispersion. Because they are such a common concern in flour mills and food processing plants with limited control options, experiments were conducted exposing confused flour beetles to gaseous chlorine dioxide.

The confused flour beetles were exposed to chlorine dioxide at different concentrations and at different lengths to see the effect of the gas on the survivability of the beetles. They were monitored for nine to ten days after exposure. While chlorine dioxide gas is not approved for pest fumigation, preliminary studies indicate that a dosage of 3000 ppm-hours is effective at eliminating all confused flour beetles upon completion.

Learn more about the efficacy and food industry applications at an upcoming workshop or visit us at booth #433 at the Food Safety Summit in May.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Comparison of Sterilization Technologies on Electronics

Although there is considerable literature about sterilization methods, there is little written about the impact of sterilization on electronics. Thanks to the advances in semiconductor and packaging technologies, integrated circuits (ICs) are found in a widening selection of equipment including medical devices. For these devices’ applications, they must remain free from harmful contaminants such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and spores. Therefore, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc performed a study in June 2010 comparing the biocidal efficacy and material compatibility of steam, Ethylene (EtO), Gaseous Chlorine Dioxide (CD), Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide (VPHP), Hydrogen Peroxide Plasma, Gamma radiation, and Electron Beam sterilization suitability for objects containing batteries or electronics.

The complete application note can be read here, but Table 1 summarizes the methods discussed and their compatibility to embedded electronics. Chlorine dioxide has no known adverse effects on electronic components and is, therefore, the best overall choice for compatibility. EtO and VPHP are noted as excellent choices for electronic medical devices that do not include batteries. Other methods might require electronics to be modified specifically for exposure.



ClorDiSys had no involvement with any testing or research in the development of Maxim’s Application Note.



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Ultraviolet Light and the Human Bed Bug

The dramatic resurgence of bed bugs in the United States poses significant problems for individuals, public health officials, and the pest control industry. Bed bugs are responsible for a variety of health concerns, causing the CDC to recently release a joint statement with the EPA declaring bed bugs a significant public health problem. Unfortunately, bed bugs are resilient and difficult to remove due to their cryptic behavior and general physiology.  They are active nocturnally when hosts are sleeping and unaware, and their flattened bodies allow them to squeeze into cracks and crevices, making removal by physical or chemical control methods difficult.

No individual control measure, chemical or otherwise, has proven to be one hundred percent effective in the removal of bed bugs from domestic structures. Eradicating bed bugs from a premise is extremely challenging. Over-reliance on pesticides, such as pyrethroids, has been linked to increased resistance in bed bug populations. Alternative methods of control are needed to aid in a broader removal strategy. Ultraviolet (UV) light is known to damage DNA by altering the nuclei of the cells due to photolytic processes; however, its various effects on arthropods have not been well documented. A 2013 Ohio State University study examined the impact of ultraviolet light on bed bug survival and behavior, and is a first step in determining the potential of UV as a control measure.

The study exposed the two developmental stages of Cimex lectularius, the egg and the first nymphal instar, to ultraviolet light for periods of 1, 2, 5, or 10 seconds at a distance of 4 cm.  A dose response curve was created by calculating mortality following an interval of 2 weeks. Behavioral observations were also conducted to assess the effects of UV exposure on the host seeking abilities of first instar nymphs.  Egg stage mortality was significantly higher in groups exposed to 2, 5, or 10 sec of UV light, with almost no subjects surviving 5 and 10 sec exposures. Mortality in first instar nymphs was somewhat less dramatic, with only the 5 and 10 sec exposures showing significant effects. The 10 sec exposure was the only treatment to cause mortality higher than 50%. It was believed treatment was less effective because these eggs were further along in their development. Behavioral observations supported the hypotheses that host-seeking abilities would be adversely impacted by exposure to UV light.  Both the 5 and 10 sec exposures significantly decreased the host-seeking success rate in first instar nymphs.

This project strongly suggests that ultraviolet light is effective, both in killing bed bugs and impairing their ability to reach a host. While eggs have proven to be most resistant to current control tactics, they are highly vulnerable to UV treatment. Particularly appealing is the fact that UV light provides a dry, chemical-free, and residue-free method of control that, with proper shielding, could be used by consumers without the aid of professionals. This study offers initial proof of concept that it is possible to kill bed bugs using only light.

To read the Ohio State University study in its entirety, click here. If you are attending EMS Today February 20-22, stop by booth #1145 to see some of the ClorDiSys UV-C product line and discuss applications.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Case Study: Aquaculture Facility Decontamination


ClorDiSys Solutions was contacted to decontaminate fifteen aquaculture tanks and their corresponding sump and piping system due to a Mycobacteria Marinum outbreak, all while filled with water. The decontamination of the tanks and piping was performed by mixing in a total of 1980 gallons of 3000 ppm liquid chlorine dioxide (EPA registration #75757-2). Plastic sheeting was placed on top of the open-air tanks in order to reduce the head-space above the water and reduce the off-gassing of chlorine dioxide. Concentration measurements (dissolved in solution) were taken within the tanks for efficacy and in the air outside of the tanks for safety.  A concentration of 10ppm was targeted within the water in the tanks, then held for over four hours.  Upon completion, air bubblers were used in order to remove the gas from the solution and ventilate it out of the tank room.  Once concentrations within both the air and water fell to 0.0 ppm, the tank room and aquaculture tanks were deemed safe for use.


Upon completion, the aquaculture facility was able to safely resume the farming of fish. The decontamination of the fifteen tanks and piping system was a success based on post-decontamination sampling. No contamination or health effects have been noticed in the 8 months since the decontamination process took place. Aside from aquaculture facilities, parallels can be drawn to other water systems that would be of benefit to this type of decontamination process.  With the growing use of zebrafish within research facilities to the recent increased use of automated watering systems, there are numerous applications where water treatment is a growing concern.

If you are attending the USDA ARS 5th International Biosafety & Biocontainment Symposium, additional information about this project will be presented as a poster, #47 DECONTAMINATION OF AN AQUACULTURE FACILITY USING LIQUID CHLORINE DIOXIDE.

Interested in more information about CSI-3000 and its wide range of applications in various industries? Click here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Contamination Control in Deli Production Facilities

When it comes to sanitizing an entire production area with equipment, machinery, 30-foot ceilings, HVAC ducting, and a myriad of other obstacles, physically spraying chemicals onto everything without missing a spot becomes an impossible task. All antimicrobial agents have a certain concentration and required contact time in order to guarantee kill, and with liquids, it’s hard to assure every single organism has been contacted for the appropriate amount of time. Some liquids can also be harsh on equipment and require a post-decontamination rinse. Mists, fogs, and vapors are composed of large molecules which can stick to surfaces preventing penetration of extremely small openings like scratches. Cracks, pipe and screw threads will not be completely decontaminated. Using gaseous chlorine dioxide or ultraviolet light disinfection, these stresses are all eliminated.

Room Decontamination with Chlorine Dioxide Gas
Chlorine dioxide is a true gas at room temperature, so it will fill its container evenly and completely like oxygen in the air, no matter how small or large a volume is being treated. With a molecule size of 0.124nm, CD gas can get inside machinery or equipment that would be difficult or impossible with liquids or vapors, simply because it is such a small molecule.  Coupled with its gaseous state, this means it will contact every surface, penetrate into every crack, all equipment, ductwork and any other place that might harbor micro-organisms.. Gaseous CD is the only decontaminating fumigant that penetrates water, decontaminating both the water and the surface beneath. Being a completely residue free process enables CD gas to be used safely on food contact surfaces as no additional cleaning needs to be performed. In addition to the production or packaging areas, a “Decon Room” can be created where portable equipment, supplies, tools, etc. can be rolled in and completely decontaminated.

Surface Disinfection with UV-C
Daily sanitization of a workspace is the most effective method to reduce the risk of contamination. Quaternary sanitizers are commonly used in wipe-downs, but most liquids require a longer contact time than a wipe-down can guarantee, meaning dangerous microbes can survive. Ultraviolet light, specifically UV-C, is a particularly useful tool in combating these unexpected surface organisms. UV-C is a chemical-free technology which ensures a complete surface disinfection in mere minutes. It works by emitting light at the 254nm wavelength, which inactivates the DNA of cells, rendering them effectively dead. UV does not cause any kind of harm to surfaces or inorganic materials, meaning equipment is safe all the way through the cycle. UV cycles are quick and inexpensive with cycle ranging between one and ten minutes and costing just pennies to operate. Whether the intent is to disinfect an entire kitchen, specific surfaces, or tools/supplies, UV has the ability to meet your needs.

Case Study: UV-C Treatment of Cutting Boards
The University of Guelph studied the effect that the UV-C has on Salmonella typhimurium inoculated on plastic cutting boards (unscratched and scratched). The surfaces were incubated for 0 hours, 1 hour, and 24 hours at room temperature. After incubation, the cutting boards were then exposed for 1 minute and 5 minutes to UV-C light from our Lantern UV-C device. For Salmonella typhimurium inoculated on unscratched cutting boards, there was a >5-log reduction when exposed to 5 minutes and about 3-log reduction when exposed for 1 minute at all incubation times. For scratched plastic, there was a >5-log reduction at 0 hours and 24-hour incubation time, and a 3-log reduction at 1 hour incubation time. For a 1-minute exposure, there was a 2-log reduction for 0 hours and 1 hour incubation time and a 4-log for a 24 hour incubation time. Current testing is being done using similar parameters for Listeria monocytogenes.

For more information on this utilization of chlorine dioxide gas and ultraviolet light disinfection, read our application note. To learn more about improving food safety and sanitation from a variety of perspectives, check out the 3rd Annual Food Safety & Microbiology Conference February 24-27, 2019 in Atlanta.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection within Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery centers visited to receive an elective procedure, meaning that quality is of utmost importance in not only the results of the procedure itself, but in the facility, post op recovery, and experience overall. Surfaces in healthcare facilities are often overlooked or difficult to clean, and more commonly, the traditional methods of cleaning being utilized are not sufficient.  A 2017 study by the Journal of Hospital Infections found that in 2016, 31% of privacy curtains in a Burns/Plastic Surgery ward were contaminated with MRSA1.  If contaminants are not properly taken care of, there is a high risk for multiple transmissions of a disease or bacteria.  Studies determined that the most common nosocomial pathogens, diseases acquired during a stay at a healthcare facility, may well survive on surfaces for months and be a continuous source of transmission if not properly treated.  The best way to reduce nosocomial pathogens is through disinfection of surfaces in the immediate environment of patients2.

How Does UV Light Solve These Problems?
Ultraviolet light provides chemical-free, liquid-free disinfection that has been proven effective against viruses, bacteria, molds, and spores. UV-C light can reach surfaces that are harder to wipe down, such as remotes, knobs, and curtains. When imagining luxury service, patients want to be ensured top-rated customer service from all levels of care the moment that they step foot in the door.  Ensuring their health is the most important component of this experience. 

In the waiting room, Torch Aire-Recessed can allow for continuous disinfection of the flow of air.  Replacing a ceiling tile, the Torch Aire-Recessed can disinfect all the air in a 2,100 ft3 room once every ten minutes.  Any air flowing through is being treated by the concealed UV-C bulbs that kill any pathogen that enter.  The device is quiet, effective, and since the bulbs are hidden from view, can operate even in the presence of patients and staff.  The Torch Aire-Recessed also has applications in the Patient and Operating Rooms where it can disinfect the air of any organisms aerosolized during the actual surgical procedure.

Room disinfection devices, such as the Torch or Torch+, can be used in operating rooms and patient rooms. For unique spaces with difficult to reach areas, the Torch-Flex or Torch-Double Flex might be more applicable with their adjustable arms that can fit between tight spaces or underneath beds. While these are all portable options that can be shared between many rooms, a more permanent and customized approach is to install Flashbar panels directly into a space to provide maximum UV-C exposure with the flip of a switch. 

Relying on cleaners coming in to manually wipe down surfaces and supplies is not enough. Ultraviolet light provides a fast, low-cost approach to disinfecting areas that are often overlooked otherwise.  Your patients and staff will all experience the comforts of knowing their health is a priority, and you are taking all measures to ensure the best care.

Click here to learn more about ultraviolet light disinfection or attend our upcoming Ultraviolet Light 101 webinar on Tuesday, February 5th.


1. Shek, K. et al.  Rate of contamination of hospital privacy curtains on a burns and plastic surgery ward: a cross-sectional study.  Journal of Hospital Infection , Volume 96 , Issue 1 , 54 – 58.
2. Kramer et al. How Long Do Nosocomial Pathogens Persist on Inanimate Surfaces? A Systematic Review. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2006.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Case Studies: Decontamination of Dairy Plants in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia


Food processors around the world are increasingly demanding tighter ingredient specifications and consistent ingredient performance to meet new product developments as well as facility and equipment upgrades. That is in addition to withstanding the already challenging distribution and storage conditions. Milk powder specifications, specifically spore contamination levels, have been barriers to expanding trade in certain application segments. That was particularly the case in Southeast Asia, where end users cited inconsistencies and lax specifications in some U.S. products. Spores—which can significantly affect product quality and lead to taste, texture and appearance defects—were at the center of those criticisms. There is no silver bullet when it comes to spore control, but implementing an effective cleaning system to remove residual product, fouling and microbes, including spore-formers from processing facilities, will minimize re-contamination from run to run.

New Zealand exports about 95% of its dairy production. Australia exports nearly half of the milk that it produces, making it the third largest exporter behind the EU and New Zealand. In the US, exports of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose totaled 161,882 metric tons, equivalent to 14.9 percent of U.S. milk production in June (2016), according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council. With each dairy producing country (US/NZ/AU) increasing its exports, contaminations can significantly impact the bottom line.

ClorDiSys Solutions and its partners are positioned around the world to help eliminate these contaminations and ensure product quality and safety. Some facilities have implemented procedures to execute fumigations of their facilities on a yearly, bi-yearly, or other routine basis. This supplements the regular wash-down procedures which are currently employed by facilities. By utilizing chlorine dioxide gas, the chances of a contamination drastically decline as the gas is able to reach all surfaces and eliminate all organisms everywhere. These are just some of the dairy facilities that have been decontaminated by ClorDiSys.

CREAMERY
This 1,000,000 ft3 (28,000m3) facility consisted of New Powder Warehouse, Old Powder Warehouse, Tote Packaging, Stork Dryer, Delaval Dryer, MCC and Bin room.  The Dryer areas both consisted of ceiling heights greater than 90 ft (27m) with various equipment and access platforms. 

PROTEIN POWDER REFINING AND PACKAGING FACILITY
This 300,000 ft3 (8,500 m3) facility consisted of a small packaging room, a mixing room, and a Dryer Room. The Dryer Room was 70ft (21m) in height and consisted of various processing equipment with access platforms. Even after thorough cleaning and liquid decontamination, a persistent salmonella problem could not be eradicated until gaseous chlorine dioxide was used.

BUTTER FACILITY
This facility required decontaminations of an aseptic room of approximately 9,000 ft3 (255 m3), 2 processing vessels (Tank #8V, and Tank #9V) and all piping leading to and from the area of approximately 8,500 ft3 (241 m3) and an additional room of approximately 10,000 ft3 (283 m3).

ICE CREAM FACILITY
This 1,300,000 ft3 (36,812 m3) facility consisted of Several Production Areas (4), Sandwich Mezzanine, Re Run Room, Old Kitchen, Kitchen 1st and 2nd floor, Old 40 Degree Room, New 40 Degree Room, 40 Degree Room, several Tank Alley’s, and CIP room.

MILK POWDER FACILITY (Large Dairy Co-op)
This 578,000 ft3 (16,367 m3) facility consisted of Niro Room, Bin Room, Recon Room, Packaging Room and Control room.

To read more about the decontamination of dairy facilities, click here. We are also hosting a Food Facility Decontamination Service webinar on Thursday, March 7th with other industry applications.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A Note for Those with Fitness-focused New Year's Resolutions

Why Your Home Gym Might Not Be As Clean As You Think
Guest Post written by Karoline Gore

A whopping 65% of Americans prefer to work out at home rather than at the gym, according to Augusta Free Press. Instead, 25.51 million individuals do in-home gym exercise, reports Statista. However, with research revealing that free weights typically carry 362 times more bacteria than a public toilet, it’s essential that you use decontaminants such as chlorine dioxide to keep your personal gym equipment clean.

Ditch your shoes
Professor of Microbiology, Charles P. Gerba states that within three months of wear, 13% of shoes carry E.coli. Meanwhile, 90% of footwear is contaminated by feces, which typically carries the streptococcal virus. This virus most commonly causes strep throat. Therefore, it's important that your outdoor shoes are kept away from your home gym. It's best practice to remove your shoes at the front door and to have another pair which are solely used inside your personal gym. But if this isn't possible, a deep clean of your floors should be carried out using an effective sterilant.

Give your treadmill the attention it deserves
Research into the bacteria harbored on treadmills has revealed that they carry 64 times more bacteria than a public bathroom faucet. And it's easy to see why, as when sweat travels down your body, it picks up bacteria and fungi. After each use, you should wipe your treadmill down with a clean cloth and disinfectant spray to remove bacteria from the machine. You should also utilize a chlorine dioxide gas cleaning service on a regular basis to give your equipment a deep clean. Meanwhile, you can protect your home gym and treadmill equipment by using a treadmill mat beneath your treadmill. This will stop sweat and bacteria from falling on the floor and transferring to your other equipment.

Eradicate germs on your hands
Individuals encounter 60,000 germs on a daily basis. Typically, you’ll come into contact with germs when handling money, opening doors and pressing elevator buttons. Germs can live from anywhere between a few hours to days. Therefore, before you enter your home gym, it’s wise to thoroughly wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water to prevent any bacteria that are lurking on your hands from transferring onto your gym equipment and multiplying. You should also consume immune system boosting nutrients.

Home gyms are a great way for exercise enthusiasts to get fit. However, you must be aware of the potential amount of germs and bacteria that can be found on your gym equipment. Thankfully, with a thorough cleaning routine and by taking precautions, your home gym will be a safe and sterile environment, and you can continue your exercise routines with peace of mind.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Excited for an Event-Filled 2019

Happy New Year! We have a lot planned for 2019, and we are thrilled to share the variety of events and educational opportunities we have scheduled with you.

Webinars
Every month, we offer complimentary webinars regarding contamination control.  These 30-minute presentations range from the introduction to chlorine dioxide gas and ultraviolet light to more specific webinars detailing industry applications such as disinfecting items into a cleanroom and the inactivation of pinworm eggs, beta-lactams, and amplicons.  Click here to see the upcoming webinars and to sign up.

Workshops
We offer free contamination control workshops across the United States. These educational seminars explore the various methods of disinfection and sterilization available, allowing you to make informed decisions when reviewing your contamination control plan. Focus will be given to chlorine dioxide gas, which is at the forefront of keeping facilities cleaner and safer than ever before, as well as ultraviolet light disinfection. See if we will be in a city near you!

  • March 26 – Philadelphia, PA
  • March 27 – Rockville, MD
  • April 9 – Des Moines, IA
  • April 10 – Kansas City, MO
  • May 20 – Minneapolis, MN
  • June 6 – Chicago, IL
  • June 25 – Boston, MA
  • June 26 – Hartford, CT

To register for one of these workshops, click here.

Conferences & Trade Shows
We are hosting the third annual Food Safety and Microbiology Conference February 24th to the 27th in Atlanta, Georgia. Curated in partnership with Kornacki Microbiology Solutions, this 2.5 day event delivers high-level problem solving sessions featuring a mix of regulatory information, microbiological tips and tricks, and innovative solutions in order to provide clear takeaways which will help your company operate cleaner, safer, and more efficient than ever before.

February is also the start of our trade show season. Whether it is a tabletop display, a 10’ x 20’ booth, or an opportunity to present, we certainly stay busy and welcome the opportunity to reconnect with clients and hopefully engage some new prospects as well. We attend too many conferences to list here, but visit our website to see where we might cross paths.

Our calendar of events is always changing, so keep an eye out for new additions, and we hope to see you somewhere in 2019!

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