Recent deadly outbreaks of microorganisms showing up in ice-cream, caramel apples, cantaloupe, and peanuts have drawn national attention to the issue of food processing safety. In fact, 3,000 people die annually in the U.S. from foodborne diseases—out of a total 48 million who get sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a result, food manufacturers are now under more pressure than ever to monitor and clean up dangerous bacteria—like listeria and E. coli. Why? Because the culprit is often dirty equipment in food processing facilities.
How Does Food Get Contaminated?
According to FoodSafety.gov, food can get contaminated in any of the following 4 phases:
During processing, food can be contaminated in several ways—such as running through old or dirty equipment, being chilled with contaminated water or ice, or mixing with animal waste particles.
Ultraviolet Light—Growing in Popularity
There are several ways to reduce the risk of contamination in a food processing facility. One of these is by using a popular technology involving ultraviolet light.
Germicidal ultraviolet (UV) lamps are low-pressure mercury vapor tubes that emit ultraviolet wavelengths that are deadly to common microorganisms—like bacteria, mold, viruses, and algae. It’s a non-chemical approach to disinfection that is cleaner, faster, and more effective than other methods, and it effectively reduces (and even eliminates) deadly pathogens.
Ultraviolet has been used for years to disinfect and sanitize drinking water, wastewater, air, and food contact surfaces—and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the “cold pasteurization” of juice. It’s also a fast method—treating 4,000 liters of juice in only 24 seconds, according to Food Safety News.
Industries Using UV for Sanitization
- Bottling facilities
- Food production
- Liquid sugars, sweeteners, edible oil processing
- Dairy processing
- Soft drink and juice production
- Pharmaceutical production
Today, you can buy a complete line of air and water sanitization equipment for your facility, including UV replacement lamps and parts:
- Air sanitizers
- Germicidal ultraviolet (UV) lamps
- Water purifiers
- Tank storage sanitizers
- Air duct disinfection units