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.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Decontaminating Dry Processing Environments

This week, the International Association for Food Protection's (IAFP) annual meeting took place in Louisville, KY.  We had the privilege of participating in a session entitled, “Challenges of Sanitation in Dry Processing Environments: What are the Evolving Methods?” Alongside a group of our industry peers, we discussed how dry gasses can be used to complement your sanitation process. During the presentation, we described how “harborage locations” within a production environment only exist when your sanitation method is ineffective at penetrating the cracks and crevices within a facility.  Gases naturally fill up the volume they are contained within evenly, meaning that there are no surfaces which go uncontacted.  

Chlorine dioxide gas and ozone gas are two residue-free, dry gas sanitation methods that are capable of penetrating into crevices further than pathogens can hide.  This is because they have a smaller molecule size than the smallest virus, measuring in between 0.124-0.127 nm. Ozone has difficulty in large environments however, as it breaks down rather quickly with a half-life of about 30 minutes.  This makes it difficult to accumulate the proper dosage at locations further from the ozone generator as treatment times typically range from 4-36 hours.  Chlorine dioxide has a half-life much longer than the treatment time, meaning that there is no natural loss in concentration during the decontamination itself.

Gas decontamination offers a fundamentally better chance of contacting pathogens throughout a facility, which is the biggest challenge to traditional sanitation methods.  Using chlorine dioxide gas as a supplement to your traditional sanitation method in order to provide a periodic “deep clean” will help establish a true “clean break” within your facility.  Whether treating your entire production facility, a single piece of equipment, or the inside of equipment and its piping / PC lines, chlorine dioxide gas is extremely well suited to eliminate pathogens wherever they reside.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst.

Why are food facilities in need of decontamination? The most obvious is in contamination response. This could be for facilities that are shutdown and in the middle of a recall, or those simply battling some positive swab results in zones two, three or four. For situations like these, ClorDiSys offers pre-planning for an emergency decontamination. First, we would initiate communication between everyone who would potentially be involved. We would sit down with your facilities, quality and EHS people and make sure everyone knew their role if a contamination should occur. Next, we would establish potential scenarios to determine pricing. In most cases, this is better pricing, simply because other companies might see that you are vulnerable in the case of a contamination and see it as an opportunity to take advantage with the price tag. With us, you would know the cost up front and it’s likely to be less because we have planned ahead with you. Also, the preparation would not just involve you and us, but we have access to other professionals in the field who could be helpful. Finally, as long as everything can be taken care of remotely, there is no cost for us to plan this with you and the result would be a well-written procedure that you could keep in your files.

What do we need to create an emergency response plan? The only things that we would need from your company are a floor plan of the facility, the estimated cubic footage, some photos of the area, and information on the exhaust system. The reason for the exhaust system information is that we would need to know how to aerate – either directly into the air or broken down with carbon scrubbers. Preparing this plan with you could also potentially involve a site visit from us to get a better idea of the little details that would go into a successful decontamination.

If you’re ready to get started, email Kevin Lorcheim or call (908) 236-4100. You can also visit us at the IAFP Annual Meeting next week. We are booth #213.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

CD Checkstrips: Color Changing Chemical Indicators

CD Checkstrips are designed to provide an easy, quick and cost-effective way to document your chlorine dioxide decontamination process. The 1/2" x 3 3/4" strips offer a visual confirmation that chlorine dioxide gas was present in the area in which the test strip was placed. The check marks on the paper strips will change color from purple to pink when contacted by chlorine dioxide gas. The color-changed strips can be kept as part of your facility log to provide documented evidence that the decontamination process was performed. This color change does not guarantee sporicidal sterilization. For sterilization cycle verification and validation, Biological Indicators (BI’s) should be used. CD Checkstrips are non-hazardous and can be disposed of as regular waste. Click here to request a quote or call our office at (908) 236-4100.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Chlorine Dioxide: The Safest of all Decontaminating Agents

All decontamination methods have a safety risk due to the nature of their use. Because of that, a variety of aspects should be considered to ensure that the process will be safe for your environment and employees. Gaseous chlorine dioxide (CD) can be used safer than other fumigation methods due to its chemical properties and safety profile.

The best safety feature with CD gas is that it is self-alerting. Chlorine dioxide has an odor threshold at or below the 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA), so the user is self-alerted to exposure at a low level and the reliance on external equipment is not as imperative. With Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide (VPHP), there is no odor to provide a warning of exposure. This alone makes CD gas safer since the user and nearby personnel are self-alerted before unsafe levels are achieved, and the reliance upon external equipment is less critical.

Chlorine dioxide gas has a shorter cycle time than other high level decontamination methods, lowering the risk profile for the process itself.  Decontaminating a 10” x 20” room would take approximately 3.5 hours from start to end when it is safe to reenter the room.  Formaldehyde would be about 12.5 hours, and VPHP could be 10+ hours. VPHP has longer cycles because of the extended aeration times due to the nature of vapor condensation and absorption issues that do not apply with a true gas. Formaldehyde has long cycles because of long exposure times and the neutralization time. A longer cycle time represents a greater risk as the room contains an unsafe environment throughout the decontamination process.  CD gas is able to reduce the risk by completing its decontamination cycle in a much shorter time while still delivering a complete, 6-log decontamination of the room.
Chlorine dioxide is typically used at lower concentrations for room decontamination. VPHP concentrations are typically 750-1500 ppm. Formaldehyde concentration is typically 10,000 ppm. CD concentration is typically 360 ppm. Use concentrations for all agents are much higher than safe levels, however if something goes wrong, the higher concentration of formaldehyde and VPHP poses a greater risk.

The chlorine dioxide gas generating equipment is located outside the room or chamber being decontaminated.  If equipment is inside the room and some issue occurs, the possibility exists where the user may have to enter the during unsafe conditions in order to shut the equipment down.  Since our CD generation equipment is located outside the chamber, if an issue occurs, the equipment can easily be shutdown by hitting the stop button located on the generator or simply pulling the plug.

Chlorine dioxide gas is not classified as a carcinogen by any health organization.  Chlorine dioxide is used to treat drinking water in over 800 municipalities within the United States, and it is widely used in Europe as well.  Chlorine dioxide is also on the National Organic Program’s List of Approved and Prohibited Substances as an approved substance for use in organic foods. Formaldehyde is classified as a known carcinogen by most of the leading health organizations worldwide, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) designates VPHP as an A3, Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans.

One of the most important safety factors for decontamination methods are their ability to completely decontaminate the space they are introduced into.  Chlorine dioxide and formaldehyde are gasses which reach and penetrate all areas throughout the room/chamber including cracks, crevices and other hard to reach areas.  Vapors have difficulty reaching these areas due to poor diffusive properties and condensation issues. If the decontaminating agent cannot reach ALL of the dangerous organisms in the space, at the proper concentration, for the prescribed amount of time, then a complete decontamination will not occur and worker safety is compromised. CD gas is able to be accurately measured in real-time using a UV-vis spectrophotometer, allowing for the correct concentration and exposure levels to be met every time, making it very reliable.

For more safety facts and method comparisons, visit our website.