Sanitizing surfaces to eradicate food pathogens is only half the battle, according to one expert; airborne pathogens also must be dealt with for a safe food supply.
RGF Environmental Group recommends food plant managers implement a sanitation system that can eradicate airborne pathogens. Most sanitation equipment and chemicals tackle surface contamination.
Food safety scientist James Marsden told FoodProductionDaily food processing plants also are vulnerable to airborne threats.
“Odors, air pollutants, VOCs, smoke, mold, bacteria, and viruses are all plant air issues," he said. “HVAC safety and purification systems, as well as systems for plant areas with no air ducts, are critical components for a processor's overall food safety program."
Bill Svec, RGF’s vice president of water and food products, recommends plant managers implement two types of systems for air treatment in food plants. The company offers a Commercial PHI Unit, mounted directly into a plant's air conditioning and heating system to get at the root of the matter.
“When the HVAC system is in operation, the Commercial PHI Unit creates an advanced oxidation process consisting of hydro-peroxides, ozonide ions, super oxide ions and hydroxide ions," Svec explained. “All are friendly oxidizers that revert back to oxygen and hydrogen after the oxidation of the pollutant."
Then, If a plant does not have any air ducts (a common situation in processing facilities), Svec said wall-mount REME-ATS wall designed for the cubic footage of the plant space and processing application can do the trick. Air passes through a REME/PHI system, creating the oxidizers, which destroy airborne microbes with high intensity, UV light rays targeted on a quad-metallic compound.
RGF’s air treatment equipment uses its photohydroionizaton process, a chemical-free, environmentally friendly oxidation method that uses broad spectrum UVlight rays, along with a catalytic target.