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FOOD SAFETY NEWS

 

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Written by Daniel Brimelow
on September 09, 2020

No matter how comprehensive a physical cleaning and disinfection regime is, it is extremely difficult to completely eliminate microbial contamination Since shut down, cleaning and sanitation has been a central focus of business that were allowed to remain open.

With this has come a multitude of companies offering up Commercial Sanitisation Services, I mean good for them for coming up with something to keep themselves afloat during this difficult time and Many are claiming that their service kills 99.9% of germs, but does this process actually work?  Short answer is yes, but let me explain.

bio-fogging commercial kitchen sanitisation


What is Chemical Fogging?

Chemical fogging: Applying chemical disinfectants to production areas as fogs or mists is a method used routinely larger scale food manufacturing establishments and is used in tandem with cleaning and sanitation schedules and procedures.  Under typical conditions, fogging is carried out for a minimum of 15–30 min to enable the fog to disperse and the chemical action to occur, this coats surfaces, floors and walls with a fine mist that then kills microbes to minimise the risk of contamination.

Chemical or bio-fogging has been around a long time as a way of sanitising interior spaces in buildings. What once was a highly specialised (and generally costly) cleaning technique for clean rooms, hospitals and the food processing sector is now seeping into the mainstream.

There are various factors spreading its appeal. As in other areas of cleaning, the progress made in developing new chemical treatments has been remarkable. Historically, various chemicals including formaldehyde, phenol-based agents and compounds of ammonium were used in fogging. Many had not been properly tested for potential effects on human health, some were toxic and others even damaged materials they came into contact with.

Advances in biocidal technology have bypassed these problems so that bio-fogging is now known to be both safe and effective. In practical terms, not only is it now far more straightforward to carry out fogging but is done using chemicals that will not create a potential contamination risk to food handling operations.

So, if this is done effectively it will target a wide spectrum of microbes effectively eliminating all pathogens, for the short term…

Sounds good right?  So, what are the drawbacks?

Bio-fogging as a highly effective weapon in the armoury of cleaning techniques, but it’s not a silver bullet and if not done correctly, will do little to create a pathogen free environment.

In the first instance, a thorough cleaning is required, in advance of fogging, or its impact could be curbed. The biocide vapour needs to make contact with the microorganisms on a surface to kill them. If dirt, debris wet patches or some other material are covering parts of a surface, then these areas may not be sanitised. This means that fogging must be carried out in conjunction with a deep clean, to be truly effective.


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