Case Studies Archive - Sterilex®

FARM FOOT PAN USE TO PREVENT CROSS-CONTAMINATION IN AREAS NEAR OR OUTSIDE DOORS, BETWEEN BROILER OR LAYER HOUSES AND AREAS LEADING TO EGG PROCESSING.

AREA OF CONCERN

Foot pan use to prevent cross-contamination in areas near or outside doors, between broiler or layer house and areas leading to egg processing.

ISSUE

Sterilex was contacted by 2 large broiler and 2 layer farms interested in cost-effective and efficacious entryway intervention that could be applied to their foot pans in powder form.

BACKGROUND

Farms were using dry bleach foot pan powder or liquid disinfectant solutions within foot pans at the entryways of layer or broiler farms. Challenges included product odor, product-related respiratory agitation, increased labor and costs due to frequent product replacement (anywhere from twice daily to every 1-2 weeks), inability to determine active ingredient concentrations, and slip hazards associated with current products being used.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following action:

  • Replace the competitive product with Sterilex® Ultra Step in entryways, barns, and hatcheries
  • Apply Sterilex Ultra Step at the recommended use rate to foot pans to prevent the spread of resistant pathogens such as Salmonella enteritidis and Avian influenza via foot traffic
  • Ensure complete coverage of the bottom of the foot pan and re-apply/replenish product as necessary
  • Remove large visible debris or organic matter from foot pan as needed
  • After performing preceding steps, monitor concentration of active ingredients using Sterilex Test Strip Kit for Sterilex Ultra Step on a weekly basis

RESULTS

Sterilex Ultra Step was replenished within the foot pans as necessary and active ingredient concentrations remained stable for 6 to 8 weeks. Figures 1-5 illustrate results for four different farms utilizing the recommended protocol. Based on these results, implementation of the above Sterilex recommended program could provide meaningful cost savings.

OTHER PROTOCOL BENEFITS

  • Significant cost savings year over year
  • Limited container disposal due to reduced replenishment frequency and product availability in 100 and 400 lb drums
  • Product-related odor and respiratory agitation concerns reduced
  • Decreased labor and product costs associated with frequent product replacement
  • Active ingredient stability levels determined
  • Removed slip hazards associated with other products used for entryway controls

 

DUAL ACTIVE CONCENTRATION OVER TIME WITHIN FOOT PANS:

Figure 1: Broiler farm removed 1 oz of powder and organic matter and added 1 oz of fresh Sterilex Ultra Step weekly to a 3-gallon foot pan over the course of 8 weeks. Active ingredient levels remained stable over the course of 8 weeks as monitored by the Sterilex Test Strip Kit.

farm 2 chart

Figure 2: Broiler farm removed 3 oz of powder and organic matter and added 3 oz of fresh Sterilex Ultra Step weekly to a 16” x 16” foot pan outside of a broiler house over the course of 6 weeks. Active ingredient levels remained stable for approximately 6 weeks as monitored by the Sterilex Test Strip Kit.

farm 3 chart

Figure 3: Layer farm removed 3 oz of powder and organic matter and added 8-16 oz of fresh Sterilex Ultra Step weekly to a 16” x 16” foot pan in a high foot traffic area during an 8 week period. Active ingredient levels remained stable over the course of 8 weeks as monitored by the Sterilex Test Strip Kit.

farm4 pan1 chart

Figure 4: Layer farm removed 1 oz of powder and organic matter and added 3 oz of fresh Sterilex Ultra Step weekly to a 24” x 36” foot pan within a layer house entryway over the course of 8 weeks. Active ingredient levels were monitored using Sterilex Test Strip Kit

farm4 pan 2 chart

Figure 5: Layer farm did not remove or add any additional Sterilex Ultra Step to a 24″x 40″ foot pan within a layer house entryway over the course of 8 weeks. Active ingredient levels were monitored using Sterilex Test Strip Kit.*

*Layer Farm 4 demonstrated unusually high levels of Active 1 in the first 2 to 4 weeks of its program. Individual results are subject to variability due to normal sampling error. However, active ingredients did not decrease below specifications for at least 8 weeks.

Pork Processor Indicon Gel Trial

AREA OF CONCERN: AN AGED PIECE OF EQUIPMENT FOR SLICING TRIM AND HAM-ENDS FOR FURTHER PROCESSING.

ISSUE

A pork processor contacted Sterilex to inquire about Indicon Gel. The processor had aged and worn equipment in their further processing and grinding production area. The equipment had oxidation on the frame, and a scratched stainless steel plate on the outfeed end of the equipment. The equipment belting also showed signs of wear and had a stapled union that presented a sanitation challenge. The unit had been cleaned but was selected for testing with Indicon Gel for the presence of biofilm due to age and condition.  The pork processor suspected that biofilm may be detected on the unit even after a sanitation cycle.

BACKGROUND

Indicon Gel was applied to multiple areas of the equipment, which had been through a detergent clean and rinse cycle. One area of the equipment that was not suspected for biofilm contamination was a stainless steel outfeed plate of approximately 18” x 32”. The flat stainless steel slide appeared to be one of the newer pieces on the unit, although it exhibited noticeable surface scratching.

RESULTS

When applied to the staple union of the belt, Indicon Gel yielded a positive result.

  • Consequently, one section of the staples was scrubbed with alcohol wipes, and one section was left untreated. Upon re-application of Indicon Gel, the untreated area still showed a positive reaction, and the scrubbed area was negative.
  • Indicon Gel was applied to the steel outfeed plate, and indicated a positive result.
  • Indicon Gel was reapplied to the same area of the stainless steel plate after being wiped down with alcohol wipes. There was a positive reaction along the scratch lines in the stainless steel.
  • The alcohol wipes were not effective in removing biofilm from the scratched surface.
  • A decision was made by the sanitation executive to tag out (place on FSQA hold) this piece of equipment for further sanitation prior to being put in service for food processing.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Re-clean the equipment, hand scrub all accessible areas, and apply Sterilex® Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner Solution 1 and Sterilex® Ultra Activator Solution to the surface, followed by a water rinse.
  • Repeat all necessary sanitation steps and re-test with Indicon Gel until a negative reaction can be achieved.
  • Sanitize.

Eliminating Presumptive Positives in Meat Processing Facility Floor Treatment

Area of concern:

Presumptive Environmental Listeria Positives in a large processing facility

Issue:

Sterilex was contacted by a bacon processing plant that struggled with Listeria positives on floor surfaces and wanted a floor intervention at the entrance to their RTE rooms.

Background:

Plant had many areas that could not be properly drained, so they needed the intervention to be dry. They were using an unregistered quaternary ammonium floor treatment, which was not adequately controlling their positive Listeria hits.

Recommendation:

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Replace the unregistered quaternary ammonium product with Sterilex Ultra Powder floor sanitizer
  • Apply the powder at the recommended use rate to the floor surfaces that lack drainage as well as the floors of the RTE rooms. This rate has been shown to provide > 6 log kill of pathogens such as Listeria in a cost effective manner.RESULTS
  • Elimination of presumptive positives

“The plant is saving about $1,300 dollars per month by switching to the Sterilex powder” – Chemical service representative

Eliminating Listeria Positives in Drains at Large Turkey Processor

AREA OF CONCERN:

Consistent Listeria positives in drains and trunk lines.

ISSUE

Sterilex was contacted by a large turkey processor who could not get rid of Listeria positives in drains with conventional sanitation methods.

BACKGROUND

The standard operating procedure for drain sanitation at the plant involved scrubbing each drain nightly with a chlorinated alkaline cleaner. One member of the sanitation crew was dedicated to manually cleaning every drain in the facility. Plant still had positives in drains.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Utilize the Sterilex drain sanitation program nightly by using Sterilex Ultra Kleen Solutions 1 & 2 in a 15 gallon air operated tank foamer with 12” drain foam attachment.
  • Take 30 seconds to pump Sterilex foam into the drain and several feet into the drain line.

RESULTS

  • All positives eliminated from drains
  • Plant has saved money by using Sterilex drain program, eliminating the need todedicate a member of the sanitation crew to drains. Time to treat drains in the plant has decreased from several hours to 30 minutes by eliminating the need to manually scrub
  • Plant has used drain program nightly for three years

Addressing Listeria Challenges in RTE Poultry Plant

AREA OF CONCERN: RTE POULTRY PLANT WITH LISTERIA CHALLENGES

ISSUE

Sterilex was contacted by a large fully cooked and debone RTE poultry facility who was experiencing periodic environmental Listeria positives.

BACKGROUND

Plant had a lot of moisture in the environment and often experienced elevated operating temperatures in the RTE environment. Current sanitation procedures included the use of chlorinated caustic, Quat and PAA sanitizers as well as intensified cleaning procedures 2X/week. Use of this procedure yielded ~5% environmental Listeria during routine swabbing.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Start with a 5-day consecutive shock treatment of Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner Solution 1 and Sterilex Ultra Activator Solution at a 1:1:10 concentration. Product to be applied to all food contact surfaces, environmental surfaces and drains.
  • Following the initial shock treatment, apply the Sterilex solutions 2X/week during the intensified cleaning procedure.
  • Broadcast Sterilex’s dry floor sanitizer on the floor in the place of unregistered dry Quat cleaning compound.

RESULTS

  • Listeria positives reduced by 80% following implementation of this program.
  • Plant considers this improvement to have made an “enormous impact” in their sanitation program.

Addressing Microbial Control Challenges in Fillers of Salad Dressing Processing Plant

AREA OF CONCERN: MICROBIAL CONTROL CHALLENGES IN FILLERS IN A SALAD DRESSING PROCESSING PLANT

ISSUE

Sterilex was contacted by a salad dressing processing plant that was continually experiencing high microbial counts in their fillers.

BACKGROUND

Plant had tried many different cleaners and sanitizers to deal with this issue, and were not successful in finding anything that kept counts low for an extended amount of time.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Circulate Sterilex Ultra CIP and Activator through the filler and lines as part of a routine sanitation maintenance program.
  • Foam the outside of the filler with Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner and Activator as an additional control.

RESULTS

  • The plant was able to eliminate the presumptive positives, and maintain those results.

“We didn’t see any positives after completing the (Sterilex) treatment” – Chemical Service Representative

Addressing Listeria Positives in RTE Plant Closed by USDA

AREA OF CONCERN: LISTERIA POSITIVES IN RTE PLANT CLOSED BY USDA

ISSUE

Listeria positives in deli plant led to plant shutdown by USDA. BACKGROUND

Presence of biofilm led to failure of standard sanitation protocol. Point of contamination linked to drains.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Shock treatment: 5 days of daily treatment to drains using Sterilex drain program and 5 days of daily treatment to equipment, walls, ceilings and floors by foaming Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner and Activator Solution.
  • Daily use of Ultra Kleen CW502 Powder Biocide on drains in the raw side and first cool down/peel room along with weekly disinfection of equipment, walls, ceilings, and floors with Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner and Activator Solution.

RESULTS

  • Plant re-opened following shock treatment. Zero Listeria positives since program initiated.

Addressing Listeria Positive Pork Processing Facility

AREA OF CONCERN: LISTERIA POSITIVES IN PORK PROCESSING FACILITY

ISSUE

Consistently high Listeria and APC during routine testing. Product shelf life had decreased and plant was threatened with regulatory action.

BACKGROUND

Plant said that they had “tried everything.” Used alkaline and acid cleaners in rotation and peracetic acid sanitizers.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Alternate COP tank soaking of belts in 12 oz/gallon solution of Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner and Activator solution every night.
  • Soak all grinder parts in COP tank solution of 12 oz/gallon Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner and Activator solution for 30 minutes every night.
  • All hard surfaces, i.e. walls countertops, floors, etc. foamed once/week with 12 oz/gallon solution of Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner and Activator Solution.

RESULTS

  • Immediate increase in shelf life and elimination of positives.

Increasing Shelf Life of Product at Poultry Processing Facility

AREA OF CONCERN: SHELF LIFE CONCERNS IN POULTRY PROCESSING FACILITY

ISSUE

Shelf life of poultry sold to large fast food restaurant chain decreased from 16 days to 11 days resulting in lost profitability.

BACKGROUND

Source of problem linked to brine tank and injector needles. Existing sanitation program not effective.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Fill brine tanks daily with recommended concentration of Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner and Activator Solution and circulate through injector needles for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

RESULTS

  • Shelf life of finished product increased and remains steady at 15-16 days.

Drain and Floor Sanitation in Large Coffee Processing Plant

AREA OF CONCERN: DRAIN AND FLOOR SANITATION IN A LARGE COFFEE PROCESSING PLANT

ISSUE

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 of high microbial coliform counts, periodic pathogen positives, and the presence of a black “tar-like substance” in and around the drains.

BACKGROUND

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.

RECOMMENDATION

Sterilex proposed the following actions:

  • Foam all of the drains nightly with a 1:1:10 solution of Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner/Activator Solution using a portable foamer and custom drain foam attachment.
  • Utilize a floor scrubber to apply Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner/Activator Solution to floor and drain surfaces on a 3X/week frequency.

RESULTS

  • 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.
  • Before/After photographs of the floors/drains are below:
*Biofilm label claims approved for specific applications only. See product label for full label claims and usage instructions.
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