Friday, January 31, 2020

Preventing Contamination - Disinfect Your Incoming Air

Contaminants typically enter a facility through one of four ways: Air, Water, Supplies / Ingredients and People.  Over the next few months, we’ll highlight these vectors and discuss methods to help control them.  For our first post in this series, we’d like to talk about contaminants entering through the air.

Ambient air may be contaminated with or carry significant levels of a variety of potentially harmful microorganisms. There are three major sources of such microbes: a) those arising from microbial decomposition of various substrates associated with particular occupations (e.g., "moldy" hay leading to hypersensitivity pneumonitis), b) those associated with certain types of environments (e.g., Legionnaires' bacteria in water supplies), and c) those stemming from infective individuals harboring a particular pathogen (e.g., tuberculosis). As far as building ventilation design is concerned, the greatest impact of any ventilation design would be on the airborne route of contamination.   If there is no control system for incoming air to your facility, these contaminants can enter and distribute throughout your facility.  Two of the most common air quality control systems are ail filtration systems and ultraviolet light disinfection systems.

The most common types of air filters used for air quality control are Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) and Ultra Low Particulate Air (ULPA) filters.  MERV ratings range from 1-20, with higher numbers offering better filtration.  HEPA and ULPA filters roughly correspond with MERV ratings of 17-20.  HEPA filters are rated to capture at least 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns (µm) while ULPA filters are rated to remove at least 99.999% of particles 0.1 micron (µm) or larger.  These systems are used in many critical environments to prevent contaminants or particulates from entering, and are available from a number of companies.  Related: ClorDiSys has validated the use of our chlorine dioxide gas to decontaminate Camfil’s Mobile Media Tester.

Ultraviolet light is a specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum of light that offers germicidal effects. Ultraviolet light is divided into UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays. It is the wavelengths in the UV-C spectrum, specifically 265 nm, which offer the greatest germicidal potential. 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 such, rather than trap pathogens and microbes like a filter, ultraviolet light kills them.

Ultraviolet light is typically placed in one of two locations in order to control pathogens within incoming air.  One location is inline with the supply air ductwork, disinfecting the air as it travels past the UV-C lamp.  Another application is using UV-C light to control organisms on the air handling system’s cooling coils.  UV-C light has been shown to reduce biofilms and control biofilm growth on cooling coils.  Biofilm growth on cooling coils has been shown to increase static pressure within the HVAC system which causes the system to work less efficiently to overcome that higher pressure.  Controlling these biofilms, in addition to supplying cleaner air, maintains the system's efficiency which in turn allows it to run better and save the facility money.  These have been shown to provide a cost savings greater than the cost of the UV-C system itself.

ClorDiSys offers the AirGlow™ as an in-duct ultraviolet light disinfection system that can be installed in any HVAC system. The AirGlow can help reduce and/or eliminate the growth of bacteria, mold and spores on supply and return airflow. Designed for continuous and long-term use, the AirGlow is constructed out of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and uses UV-C lamps with a lifespan of 13,000 hours (approx. 18 months). 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. It provides continuous disinfection without special attention or risk of exposure to people in rooms being handled by the ductwork.

Read more about the AirGlow here or complete this form for a quote. Contact ClorDiSys Solutions for additional contamination prevention products and services.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Food Safety and Microbiology Conference Speaker Spotlight: Angela Anandappa, Ph. D.

Dr. Angela Anandappa is the Founding Director for the Alliance for Advanced Sanitation. The Alliance’s activities are focused on all manners of food safety hazards, including microbial pathogens, allergens, toxic chemicals and water conservation in sanitation operations. Dr. Anandappa is an experienced food safety industry professional having worked in Supplier Chain, Product Development, and Sanitation Areas of the food manufacturing industry. She has served as an assistant professor in the department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she has taught both graduate- and undergraduate-level courses. Prior to her current role, she was the Section Manager, Supply Chain Safety Assurance for the Kraft Heinz Company. She has expertise in Product Development, Supplier Gap Assessments and Technical Consultations, Risk-Based supplier evaluation and verification support and Manufacturing support and plant readiness evaluations. She currently serves as the Co-Chair for the Food Chemical Hazard and Food Allergy Professional Development Group at IAFP, serves on several boards such as the Board of Directors for the Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative and for Food Safety Tech. Dr. Anandappa has published many journal articles, with most recent work focusing on microbiome and hygienic conditions of facilities.

Dr. Anandappa will be presenting on the first day of the 2020 Food Safety and Microbiology Conference this March. Her presentation “Empowering Sanitation: Redefining a Dirty Word” will speak less on the technical challenges that sanitation faces, and more on the personnel and company culture. To see a complete list of the industry leaders and food safety experts that will be participating, view the conference program here.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Establishing a Clean Break in Production

A clean break is a defined production break that involves a documented, verified, and validated cleaning and sanitation process of all food/product contact surfaces. Clean breaks are used to establish lots to trace their products and limit the quantity or product recalled in case of a contamination. Similar to a firebreak in a forest, a clean break gives you that line of safety.  Some municipalities will clear out a section of the forest to act as a “clean break” so that in case of a fire, you have a line of containment already in place. Preventive measures are always hard to value, because like insurance, it is hoped to be a sunk cost that has no return on investment. However, if it is used, its value is tremendous.

Now the problem is, what happens if you cannot defend your clean break? If your clean break cannot be defended during a recall, then as far as an investigator is concerned, you didn’t have one.  When that happens, your recall will grow. In October 2018, McCain Foods recalled 63 different products back to a shipped date of January 1, 2016 because they didn’t have a more recent clean break. In order to defend your chosen sanitation method, you must understand decontamination and sterilization. The traditional sanitation methods do kill – you see the log reduction right on the label of the products – 99.9% antibacterial, and so on. However, these methods can have difficulty guaranteeing that all organisms have been contacted or contacted with the proper effective dosage. Even ozone, which is an effective method, doesn’t hold the concentration very long, which makes it difficult to do larger areas. Alternatively, chlorine dioxide gas is able to achieve a complete 6-log sporicidal decontamination of all surfaces within a space, including hard-to-reach areas such as cracks and crevices, because it is a true gas above -40 degrees and its molecule size is smaller than the smallest virus. Because ClorDiSys Solutions’ process is pure and dry, our chlorine dioxide gas doesn’t leave a residue. Once the gas has been removed, the area is safe and does not require additional cleanup. ClorDiSys’ approach to process control has enabled us to be trusted to keep critical environments safe, including 31 of the Top 100 food manufacturers.

To learn more about utilizing chlorine dioxide gas for a clean break in production, email us or call us at (908) 236-4100.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Learn Something New in the New Year!

Happy New Year! We are kicking off 2020 webinars with our January presentations starting next week. We reviewed all of our offerings at the end of 2019, reconfigured some designs, and reevaluated topics, so we are really looking forward to showing you the result.

JANUARY 14 – 1:00PM EST
CD Gas 101: An Intro to its Process and Applications
This webinar is for all industries looking to improve their sanitation and decontamination. We will discuss the chemical characteristics of chlorine dioxide gas and how they enable it to provide a highly effective decontamination. Applications for using CD gas as well as products and services will also be presented. This 30 minute webinar begins at 1pm Eastern.

JANUARY 14 – 2:00PM EST
Ultraviolet Light Disinfection 101
A webinar for those in all industries who are interested in learning about UV-C light disinfection for contamination control. We will discuss the properties, efficacy, safety, and use applications for ultraviolet light disinfection along with product information and specifications. This 30 minute webinar begins at 2pm Eastern.

JANUARY 16 – 1:00PM EST
Chlorine Dioxide Gas vs. Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor
This webinar is for life science and pharmaceutical professionals who are current hydrogen peroxide vapor users, or looking to choose between the two decontamination methods. We will discuss the chemical differences which affect their efficacy and safety for a variety of applications. Case studies, material compatibility data, and other referenced information will also be presented. This 30 minute webinar begins at 1pm Eastern.

JANUARY 16 – 2:00PM EST
Clean Break in Food and Pharmaceutical Production
This webinar is for food safety and pharmaceutical professionals who would learn about implimenting a clean break by using chlorine dioxide gas. This "certified clean" event will provide a sterility marker in case of a contamination in order to limit the size and severity of a recall. We will discuss why chlorine dioxide can be used to prove a clean break as well as case studies and documentation. This 30 minute webinar begins at 2pm Eastern.

JANUARY 22 – 1:00PM EST
Ask the Experts
Join us for an open Q&A session with experts from our various industry sectors on the line to answer any questions you may have about contamination control. Questions can be public or private allowing you to ask about sensitive situations if needed. Experts will be available to answer questions regarding:
  • Chlorine dioxide gas decontamination
  • UV-C disinfection
  • Comparisons to other disinfection/decontamination methods
  • Product sterilization
  • Facility decontamination
  • Inactivation of Pinworm Eggs
  • Inactivation of Beta Lactams

It is not too late to register for our free webinars this month. Additional information and registration can be viewed here. Be sure to keep checking back, because we have new presentations in the coming months including Recall Prevention and Response, Non-microbial Contaminants, Decontaminating Low-Moisture and Dry Environments, Architecture & Engineering: Lab Planning with Implementation of Chlorine Dioxide, and more.

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