Disinfecting Your Air & Surfaces: Using UV Light to Protect Employees
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, germicidal UV-C lighting has seen an uptick in popularity because it can inactivate many of the pathogens responsible for viruses and
infections. You can utilize UV-C mobile units or mounted fixtures to kill these kinds of illness-causing pathogens on high touch surfaces and in the air to help keep your employees from getting sick. In an industry that can't shutdown or work from home, this is vital.
Food processing facilities, particularly meat processing, a segment of industrial, are a hotbed for COVID-19, but foods are in high demand as everyone's stocking up for long periods at home. Keep your plant from permanent closure by keeping employees healthy.
UV Lighting for Food & Beverage: A Chemical-Free Irradiation Option
Did you know that UV lighting has been used in food processing for hundreds of years for food irradiation? It kills common food-borne bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria that can cause serious illnesses and even death. UV-C lighting has been tested so it can effectively prevent food contamination and also extend food shelf life. The lighting technology can not only prevent mold, sprouts, insects, etc. from growing and thriving directly on food, it can also treat food packaging and other foodstuff. This includes conveyors and other equipment to transport the food and working surfaces (as discussed above).
Another high growth area for UV-C lighting is specifically for beverages, dairy, and other pasteurized products. UV-C has already been used to sanitize water in municipalities and also bottled water in factories for decades, but it also has potential to replace pasteurization of juices, milk, and more. Pasteurization is known to kill the good along with the bad, lessening vitamin and mineral levels in important products. UV-C light would eliminate this issue as it does not change the chemical makeup of foods and beverages it treats.
Moreover, as chemical disinfectants, preservatives, and other irradiation methods for food come under increased scrutiny and more and more are banned (citing claims of cancer and birth defects), irradiation options like UV-C lighting are a great alternative. All food manufacturers and distributors struggle with keeping pathogens at bay and muddle through bacterial outbreaks, which cause significant loss to these food and beverage manufacturers. Take the peanut butter Salmonella outbreak of 2009, which started in their processing plant- that company, PCA, is now bankrupt. Stave off these bacteria with UV-C technology.
A Note on Using UV Light for Organic Food:
UV-C light can be used on organic foods in most states unlike chemical disinfectants, which is great as organic food demand skyrockets. It's seen an even bigger increase due to COVID-19 too. Organic food cannot legally be irradiated, so UV-C lighting provides a sterilization option here too.
UV-C lighting is proven to reduce or eliminate many food-borne pathogens, but its effectiveness requires the right exposure time and intensity of irradiation appropriate for each product. With our help placing the right products, this isn't an issue.
UV-C lighting is safe, and much safer than chemical alternatives or alternatives that alter the density and healthfulness of our foods. But don't just take our word. Here are some sources that cite the safety of UV-C for your reference:
UVC Safely Eliminates Bacteria
Is UV Light Safe For Pathogen Reduction In Food Processing?
Ultraviolet Light Can Kill Bacteria in Fruits, Finds Study
Moreover, germicidal UV-C lighting that protects your employees from sickness is safe too. Here's our take on safety FAQs when it comes to UV technology.