Drains are a notorious harborage point for foodborne pathogens. Maintaining clean and hygienic drains is critical to ensuring that bacteria like Listeria don’t make their way around your food processing facility. Sterilex PerQuat® technology is effective at penetrating and removing biofilm in hard-to-reach areas without the need for hand-scrubbing. The case studies shared on this page illustrate how food processors reap the benefit of a strong drain sanitation program. Read on to learn how Sterilex’s drain sanitation protocol was implemented by a bread and baked goods manufacturer to address high coliform counts, and don’t miss the before and after pictures from a coffee plant!

Coliform Control for Drains + Floor Tools

Area of Concern

Sterilex was contacted by a global manufacturer of bread and baked goods with concerns about their environmental surfaces — particularly drains and floors. The plant had high coliform and Listeria results in some of these areas.


High total coliform and intermittent Listeria positives on floors and in drains, potentially risking cross-contamination to food contact surfaces or product.


The source of the problem was suspected to be a lack of biofilm control on environmental surfaces in the facility. Sterilex was brought in to recommend an SSOP for biofilm control and resistant organism control.


Sterilex recommended the addition of their comprehensive Drain Sanitation Protocol, which is powered by Sterilex’s patented EPA-registered PerQuat® technology to help kill hard-to-reach organisms and remove biofilm.


Microbial Testing

A large drop was observed in the coliform results in the three areas tested.

Location Name Pre-Treatment Coliform (CFU) Post-Treatment Coliform (CFU)
HVAC Drain #1 5,000 <10
HVAC Drain #2 235,000 200
Floor Tools 6000 (17 E. coli) <10


As observed in this trial, the treatment of drains and floor tools with Sterilex PerQuat technology resulted in a large reduction in coliforms. Coliforms like E. coli are protected and housed in biofilm colonies, and Sterilex’s PerQuat solutions were developed to target this biofilm reservoir of bacteria. This case study suggests that Sterilex PerQuat technology is effective at penetrating and removing biofilm in hard-to-reach areas, which enables kill of biofilm pathogens as well.

Similar results may be observed in any plant with drains by following a similar protocol.

Before + After Sterilex Treatment

Area of Concern

The appearance and sanitary condition of drains and floors in a coffee processing facility.


A large coffee processing plant was chosen by its parent company as a trial location for Sterilex’s drain and floor sanitation program company-wide. This plant was chosen due to long-standing high microbial coliform counts, periodic pathogen positives, and the presence of a black “tar-like substance” in and around the drains.


The plant was using a floor scrubber to clean the plant floors and drain surfaces on a nightly basis using conventional detergents. Drains were cleaned and sanitized nightly using conventional sanitizers. The plant had experienced high microbial counts and pathogen positives on the floors and drains for a number of years.


Following one week of the drain/floor trial, all coliform and E. coli counts were reported below the detectable limit and there were zero positives for Salmonella or Listeria among all swabs tested for the week.

Drain 1

Drain 2

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