2017 Food Safety Expert
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2017 Food Safety Authored Articles

Food Safety Authored Articles 

 

Evaluation of Third-Party Deep Cleaning as a Listeria monocytogenes Control Strategy in Retail Delis.

Authors: Hammons, S. R., Etter, A. J., Wang, J., Wu, T., Ford, T., Howard, M. T., & Oliver, H. F.

Publication: Journal of Food Protection. 80(11): 1913-1923

Abstract: The objective of this study was to develop and assess the efficacy of an aggressive deep cleaning sanitation standard operating procedure (DC-SSOP) in nine retail delicatessens to reduce persistent Listeria monocytogenes environmental contamination. The DC-SSOP was developed from combined daily SSOPs recommended by the Food Marketing Institute and input from experts in Listeria control from food manufacturing and sanitation. The DC-SSOP was executed by a trained professional cleaning service during a single 12-h shutdown period. A modified protocol from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual was used to detect L. monocytogenes in samples from 28 food and nonfood contact surfaces that were collected immediately before and after each cleaning and in samples collected monthly for 3 months. The DC-SSOP significantly reduced L. monocytogenes prevalence overall during the 3-month follow-up period and produced variable results for persistent L. monocytogenes isolates. Six delis with historically low to moderate L. monocytogenes prevalence had no significant changes in the number of samples positive for L. monocytogenes after deep cleaning. Deep cleaning in very high prevalence delis (20 to 30% prevalence) reduced L. monocytogenes by 25.6% (Padj less than 0.0001, n=294) overall during the follow-up period. Among delis with extremely high prevalence (greater than 30%), positive samples from nonfood contact surfaces were reduced by 19.6% (Padj = 0.0002, n = 294) during the follow-up period. The inability of deep cleaning to completely eliminate persistent L. monocytogenes was likely due to the diverse infrastructures in each deli, which may require more individualized intervention strategies.

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Exploring the Secrets of CIP

Author: Joe Curran

Publication: Food Quality & Safety

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Validating The Effectiveness Of Wash Water To Prevent Microbial Cross-Contamination Of Fresh-Cut Leafy Vegetables

Authors: D. Gombas; Y. Luo; J. Brennan; G. Shergill; R. Petran (Ecolab); R. Walsh (Ecolab); H. Hau (Ecolab); K. Kurana; B. Zomorodi; J. Rosen; R. Varley; K. Deng

Publication: Journal of Food Protection. 80(2): 312-330

Abstract: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires food processors to implement and validate processes that will result in significantly minimizing or preventing the occurrence of hazards that are reasonably foreseeable in food production. During production of fresh-cut leafy vegetables, microbial contamination that may be present on the product can spread throughout the production batch when the product is washed, thus increasing the risk of illnesses. The use of antimicrobials in the wash water is a critical step in preventing such water-mediated cross-contamination; however, many factors can affect antimicrobial efficacy in the production of fresh-cut leafy vegetables, and the procedures for validating this key preventive control have not been articulated. Producers may consider three options for validating antimicrobial washing as a preventive control for cross-contamination. Option 1 involves the use of a surrogate for the microbial hazard and the demonstration that cross-contamination is prevented by the antimicrobial wash. Option 2 involves the use of antimicrobial sensors and the demonstration that a critical antimicrobial level is maintained during worst-case operating conditions. Option 3 validates the placement of the sensors in the processing equipment with the demonstration that a critical antimicrobial level is maintained at all locations, regardless of operating conditions. These validation options developed for fresh-cut leafy vegetables may serve as examples for validating processes that prevent cross-contamination during washing of other fresh produce commodities.

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Fruit and Vegetable Washing in Food Retail Environments

Authors: Anna Starobin; Sally Foong-Cunningham

Publication: Food Protection Trends 37(1):70-73