Tag Archives: Tech Tip

Foodborne Bacteria: Do You Know How They Grow?

Food safety concerns are on all food manufacturers’ minds (and, honestly, probably in their dreams too), so it is critical to know how bacteria grow.  Armed with that knowledge, we are better able to stay ahead of bacterial contamination in the food manufacturing facilities.

Petri dish with bacteria.

Petri dish with bacteria. Source: processingmagazine.com

Often, when I was in the plant environment, I would refer back to a case study put together by the Royal Society for Public Health in 2010. It laid out some excellent basics on growth factors for bacteria in a concise manner that readers of The Wide Line may appreciate.

The RSPH states, “In order to grow, bacteria require a source of nutrients, an appropriate atmosphere, neutral or alkaline conditions, available moisture and an appropriate temperature. (In turn), the nutrient source needs to have available moisture, a source of energy, nitrogen, vitamins, and minerals.” A large number of bacteria are able to grow with or without oxygen. Some bacteria (obligate aerobes), will only grow if oxygen is present. Other bacteria (obligate anaerobes) will only grow in the absence of oxygen.

The RSPH’s “Growth Requirements of Bacteria” section continues: “Most bacteria grow best in a neutral or alkaline environment. Bacteria do not grow well in foods which are too acidic (with a pH of less than 4.5).”  So, the more acidic the food, the less likely it is to support the growth of bacteria.  In addition, foods that are dried or high in salt or sugar have a reduction in available moisture content, and bacteria will grow poorly on these foods.

Finally, “Most bacteria will not grow in cold conditions, or will only grow and divide slowly. High temperatures will also inhibit the growth of bacteria.”  For example, most food poisoning bacteria die when exposed to a temperature of 70°C for two minutes or more. The optimum temperature range for the growth of most bacteria is 5°C to 63°C, which is known as the ‘temperature danger zone’.

The RSPH concisely acknowledges that there are multiple areas in all food production facilities that need to be assessed for risk regularly, as well as monitored daily in order to prevent microbiological product contamination. All processing steps have the potential to increase the chance of microbial corruption.  Nelson-Jameson carries food safety products that assist with control and surveillance in every step of the production process—from ingredient receiving through manufacturing, storage, and shipping of finished products.  Contact a sales representative today to find out how Nelson-Jameson can help strengthen your food safety prevention and protocol.

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Tech Tip: Ice Melt Application Tips

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Icy sidewalks and driveways will be here soon. Here are some helpful tips to remember when using ice melt this winter.

Use it!
Whether it is in an effort to save money or time, skipping ice melt means that you are setting yourself up for  slippery sidewalks, entryways and parking lots. This could be an expensive mistake for your company.

Don’t use too much
Evenly spread application is essential for optimal melt. Applying ice melt using a spreader ensures even application, while scoops and shovels are most common, they can cause overuse or piling in areas.

Know when to apply
Todd Spencer, former National Sales Manager for North American Salt, is quoted saying “pre-application is ideal as an initial deterrent before the snow falls, though it is often difficult to predict necessity.” Ice melt must be applied on the ground/ice for it to be effective, not on a pile of snow.

For more information on ice melt products available at Nelson-Jameson call 800-826-8302 or visit our website.

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Tech Tip: Brush Maintenance Tips

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In the food industry, proper cleaning is important for assuring a sanitary food processing environment. Taking care of the tools that do the cleaning is also a vital part of the process. Here are some tips for keeping your brushes in good working order.

Do

  • Clean your cleaning tools regularly.
  • Provide adequate storage space and hangers for all tools, at all times.
  • Determine characteristics that employees can look for to identify when it is time to replace tools so they are not the source of additional hazards in a facility.
  • Bend stray bristles back into shape when appropriate, so all bristles may be effective.
  • Replace tools that are badly worn or have significant abrasions which make them difficult to clean and keep clean.

Don’t

  • Use cleaning tools that are heavily soiled.
  • Use tools that have severe wear or have extremely tangled or bent/flared bristles.
  • Leave tools in caustic chemicals or sanitizers for time periods longer than recommended (using appropriate chemical manufacturer recommended time, temperature and concentrations should not be harmful to tools if selected and used appropriately).
  • Expose tools to temperatures outside of their minimum and maximum – this will extend tool life.
  • Store on the floor; bristles become deformed and will be less effective.

For more information on our brush selection, click here or call 800-826-8302 to speak with a customer service representative.

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Tech Tip: Hose Supports

Extend the life of your sanitary hoses by purchasing hose supports! Prevent exterior wear and fitting damage by using hose supports to keep hoses off the ground and next to the ends.

We stock most sizes and can get other styles if you want something specific. Options include bright colors to help raise awareness and prevent tripping and adjustability to accommodate different hoses.

Shop Hose Supports

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Tech Tip: Ergonomic Pipetting

Source: Stanford University

Source: Stanford University

Due to the sheer amount of pipetting that goes on commonly in a lab on a day-to-day basis, it can be easy to forget that this repetitive process may cause problematic ergonomic issues.

Stanford University’s EH&S, Industrial Hygiene/Safety Program recommends a few things that you can do to assure good ergonomics while pipetting in the lab. Here are some of their key insights from the “Laboratory Ergonomics Tips” document to keep in mind while pipetting:

The next time you find yourself trying to assure the quality of your sample, take some time to remember to take care of yourself in the process. For further tips on maintaining proper ergonomics in the lab check out more from Stanford University here.<

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