Tag Archives: cleaning

“Eek-osystems”: Biofilm Considerations for the Food Industry

Have you ever missed one or two of your normal tooth-brushing sessions, and found your tongue traversing over a disconcertingly slimy layer coating your chompers?   Well, welcome to the disturbing and quite fascinating world of biofilms.  These hearty amalgams of microbiological activity provide both protection for microorganisms, as well as headaches for not only those avoiding plaque build-up, but most importantly for this blog, the food industry (allowing harborage and protection for bacteria and fungi).

Biofilms can form on a variety of surfaces in food processing environments, including stainless steel.  A supercell of harborage, “Biofilms are complex microbial ecosystems formed by one or more species immersed in an extracellular matrix of different compositions depending on the type of food manufacturing environment and the colonizing species” (Geaile, et al).   The “matrix” formed creates a powerful source of protection and fuel for the continued life and shear tenacity of these “eek-osystems”  to affect, disrupt, and harm products.     

Though biofilms are capable of creating a lot of hassle when it comes to cleaning, spoilage concerns, etc., Gaile, et al, in  “Biofilms in the Food Industry: Health Aspects and Control Methods” note:  “Of particular importance to the food industry is that some biofilm-forming species in food factory environments are human pathogens.”  With biofilms aiding and abetting pathogens, the cost of not waging an effective sanitation onslaught, may create food safety issues of serious proportions.   This is even further complicated by the fact that, “Mixed biofilms show higher resistance to disinfectants such as quaternary ammonium compounds and other biocides” (Gealie, et al.).   This means traditional cleaning protocols may not be enough to counter the threat biofilms pose to public health.

Here at Nelson-Jameson, we continue to work with our supplier-partners to take on the threat of biofilms in the food industry.   Our hope is that through a multi-pronged approach, we can help address this serious concern for our customers.  Here are just a few of the ways we are taking on the challenges of biofilms currently:

  1. Providing effective and efficient cleaning solutions, like hygienic brushes and squeegees from Remco and Carlisle, to cleaning chemical options from Hydrite, Kersia, and Best Sanitizers.  
  2.  Formulating and offering the best enzymatic cleaning solutions with Realzyme.
  3. Offering the best in testing solutions, including 3M Petrifilm and ATP testing equipment, as well as offering sampling collection/sample integrity products from Whirl-Pak and QualiTru.   

Though continuing to be a tough challenge for the food industry, biofilms will squarely be in the crosshairs of our team and our supplier partners.  Together, across the industry, we can seek out effective solutions, and build tailored programs to take on the challenge and the tenacity of biofilms in the production environment.   For an excellent resource on biofilms please be sure to consult the Gealie et al. article referenced above, here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5949339/.

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Turbidity Monitoring: Recover More Product & Save Money

With constant eyes on profit margins, processors strive to make every dollar count on the processing line. Are you trying to figure out your next continuous improvement project aimed at maximizing profits for your operations? Turbidity monitoring from Anderson-Negele can help to maximize profits while saving money on wasted product going down the drain during cleaning cycles.

How it works:

Turbidity is defined as, “the phenomenon where by a specific portion of a light beam passing through a specific liquid medium is reflected by undissolved particles.” Basically, the sensor acts like a flashlight into the light stream and senses the light that comes back due to being reflected by undissolved particles. For example, purified water would have a very low value of turbidity due to most impurities being removed. However, an ice cream mix would have a high turbidity value because it is largely made up of undissolved particles.

Common applications where constant turbidity monitoring can greatly assist operations include:

Some of these processes can be regulated by a timer or sight from the wash streams that usually go down the drain and produce more wastewater, which also raises costs to the processor. Anderson-Negele offers a line of turbidity sensors to improve product yield and reduce waste. By setting a threshold on a turbidity monitor and relaying it back to a PLC you can put more control on a process and regulate product going down the drain.

Take a look at Nelson-Jameson’s offering of turbidity monitors, or call our Instrumentation Specialists for more information.

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Tech Tip: Brush Sizing

1006199Correctly sizing your brush is critical for optimal cleaning. When selecting the diameter of the brush used to clean the interior of tubing, pipes, drains, valves, etc. keep these tips in mind.

The key to efficiency is maximum tip contact to the surface – the tips of the brush are what provide proper cleaning. Select a brush with an outside diameter exactly the inside diameter of the pipe. A larger diameter brush will bend when entering the pipe providing less effective cleaning as the bristle tips will not contact the surface.

This will cause extra wear and tear on your brush, and may result in the brush getting stuck in the pipe. A smaller diameter brush with require additional passes in order to clean and may result in missed areas.

The handle of your brush should reach the entire length of your pipe or tubing for quick and effective cleaning. If you need help in finding the correct brush for your application, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-826-8302 or see our collection of brushes online here

 

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Keeping it Clean with FSMA

j0444789A large part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) focuses on prevention when it comes to controlling our food supply. The steps to preventing foodborne diseases, according to FDA, on the part of the manufacturer, involve evaluating the hazards, specifying preventative steps, monitoring, and correcting problems that may arise.

An aid in reducing hazards is disinfection, cleaning and sanitation. Food Quality & Safety published an article in November 2013, titled “Keep It Clean” that takes a deeper look at the role of disinfectants and sanitizing solutions in FSMA implementation. While there are a few different methods of disinfection, we provide products for chemical disinfection:

Chlorine Sanitizers

Iodine Sanitizers

Quaternary Ammonium (QUATS)

Once a surface has been disinfected, verification will need to take place, which takes care of the monitoring part. A method of verification used prior to sanitation mentioned in the article is adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence. Our Laboratory & QA/QC product line offers a variety of items that can aid in verification: 3M™ Clean-Trace™ NG Luminometer3M™ Clean-Trace™ Surface ATP Test.

According to the article, ATP does not correlate with micro counts, therefore swabbing and the use of petrifilm is recommended. We feature the following items for swabbing and petrifilm: 3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates & Accessories3M™ Quick Swabs3M™ Hydra-Sponges, and 3M™ Sponge-Sticks.

We are a team when it comes to food safety, you can count on Nelson-Jameson to provide quality products that aid in FSMA implementation. For more information on FSMA, see the FDA website.

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From the Learning Center: Proper Care & Cleaning Sani-Safe® Cutlery

23644Our line of Sani-Safe knives offer the weight and balance of wood-handled knives with the sanitary advantage of polypropylene. We recommend adherence to the following guidelines to maximize the performance of Sani-Safe® Cutlery.

  • Cutlery should be hand washed in mild to medium strength detergent and towel-dried.
  • Knives should NOT be placed in automatic dishwashers. The blade edges will be dulled from rubbing against each other, and caustic detergents will cause staining and pitting of the blade.
  • Cutlery should NOT be soaked for long periods or submerged for cleaning. If soaking cutlery in soap, bleach or chlorine, the soaking should be kept to a minimum, the products rinsed thoroughly and dried immediately.
  • Chlorine and bleach discolor and pit stain-free and high-carbon steel. If chlorine or bleach products come in contact with the blade, they must be thoroughly rinsed off immediately.
  • When cutlery is left to soak in aluminum pans or stainless steel sinks, galvanic action, the transfer of electrons from one metal to another may occur. Galvanic action may cause pitting on cutlery blades. To prevent it, avoid long periods of soaking and remove cutlery from condiments such as mayonnaise when they are kept in aluminum or stainless steel pans.

Only frequent and prompt cleaning of cutlery after each use with non-caustic solutions and prompt towel drying will ensure the performance and beauty of superior Sani-Safe® cutlery products.

For more information on Sani-Safe® Cutlery, click here.

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To make informed decisions in the food, dairy and beverage industries, you need to have in-depth product knowledge and a variety of educational resources. Our Learning Center is designed to help you with all that. Visit our Learning Center today!

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