From Healthcare to High Care – How the food industry can benefit from disinfection techniques used in Operating Theatres.
Attendees at the SoFHT Innovation Day at York Biotech Campus back in March were treated to some fantastic presentations covering everything from pest control, cleaning & hygiene, to eating insects!
The inaugural event was equally popular with delegates and suppliers alike, with the topic of Covid never being far away.
As we all know, the risk of airborne pathogens was brought to the attention of food hygiene professionals like never before during the pandemic.
Food production was halted in countless facilities, large and small, as their workforce was stricken by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Lessons were learned as traditional methods of disinfection struggled to cope under such challenging circumstances.
Could technology developed to control healthcare associated infections (HCAIs), such as Norovirus, MRSA, C. difficile and e. coli, offer the answer?
Oxy’Pharm’s Nocotech concept was developed back in 2003 to combat nosocomial microorganisms, which were bringing hospitals to their knees.
Simply wiping surfaces with cloths and chemicals was not enough to hold back the onslaught of an invisible enemy.
The developers were a team of microbiologists and scientists who understood pathogens could be airborne and knew the answer would need to be delivered in a manner that not only treated surfaces, but the airspace itself.
Using a unique heating and ionising turbine, their automated Nocotech devices deliver concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide as a dry gas at 80m per second (c.179mph), with a particle size of less than 5μ.
In its gaseous form the Hydrogen Peroxide is able to envelop the whole room space, disinfecting above and below surfaces, reaching inside complex equipment and electronics, as well as the air.
With a validated efficacy against viruses, bacteria, spores, yeasts & moulds, Oxy’Pharm’s Nocolyse One Shot, a powerful medical disinfectant, delivers up to a Log 6 reduction against the most stubborn pathogens.
In recent tests carried out by a world-leading institution, Researchers at University of Cambridge achieved repeated Log 6 reductions against endospores in their CL3 laboratories, which handle human pathogens that can cause serious or life-threatening disease.
The technology is very different to chemical foggers and sprayers currently used in the F&B Sector.
Their particle sizes range from 10-60μ and are much heavier, leading at best to minimal disinfection of walls and vertical surfaces, or next to none on ceilings or the underside of equipment.
Traditional fogging is a wet process and crucial electronics have to be protected with plastic sheeting, including touch-panel interfaces which could easily harbour harmful microorganisms.
The first-choice disinfectant for many users is peracetic acid, a pungent chemical known to corrode metals and degrade rubbers.
Furthermore, conventional fogging uses vast amounts of water during and after treatments as the whole area often has to be rinsed down.
Utilising the same Nocotech devices used in Operating Theatres, Oxy’Pharm have developed a specific disinfectant for the food sector: Nocolyse Food.
The odourless chemical contains 7.9% Hydrogen Peroxide with no silver, as it is stabilised with ascorbic acid, making it entirely safe on food contact surfaces.
The solution comes in ready-to-use canisters and one litre can disinfect areas of up to 1,000mᶟ using the Oxy’Pharm Nocospray 2 machine.
The capability is increased to 20,000mᶟ using Nocomax Easy, which is a highly portable device developed for larger areas.
With no rinsing required, 100% material compatibility and being 99.9% biodegradable, the dry H2O2 gas is able to deliver up to a Log 7 reduction against a broad spectrum of food-based pathogens with no microbial resistance.