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What to Know When Choosing a Sanitizer for Your Food Facility

With changes in regulations, materials, and resources, the frequency of food-borne illness has decreased significantly since the days when old-fashioned, unhygienic porous kitchen materials were prevalent. Yet despite all this, "Contaminated equipment and utensils have been cited as one of the leading risk factors most responsible for foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States (1)."

With increased awareness and a variety of approved sanitizers, it falls to the education, training, and testing of the efficacy of the process.

"FDA-sanctioned sanitizers must destroy 99.999% of harmful bacteria within 30 seconds of a single application, be stable under a myriad of environmental conditions, and have low toxicity. Chemical sanitizers, which are registered through the Environmental Protection Agency, are reviewed for concentration efficacy, safety data and product labeling information prior to being approved."

The sanitizers work, if they're mixed, stored, and used properly. That requires training and testing.

"Federal, state, and local health regulations require companies to verify the concentration of chemical solutions through sanitizer test kits (11)."

Sanitizing efforts are only as good as their application, so testing the efficacy is critical in preventing the growth and spread of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other spoilage organisms in the food processing environment.

The simplest (and mandated) way to test the effectiveness of the sanitizers is by using test kits, strips. Micro Essential Laboratory, the leading choice of regulators and food preparation establishments, offers kits and specific strips that change color based on the amount of chemical in the solution, as well as strips to determine the correct mixtures, with easy to read and compare charts.

Micro Essential Laboratory offers training videos and instructional materials along with their kits and test papers.

For more information, the full article linked here covers:

• Defining “food grade” chemical sanitizers

• Overview of the “Big 3” chemical sanitizers -- chlorine, quats and iodophors

• Important factors that can affect the efficacy of chemical sanitizers

• Important considerations users must weigh in choosing a chemical sanitizer for a particular food processing environment

• Proper usage and application of test strip kits

Read the Full Article: https://www.foodqualityandsafety.com/article/what-to-know-when-choosing-a-sanitzer-for-your-food-facility/