AIRsteril in food processing areas
Managing odours and controlling bacteria in food processing environments
What if you could extend the life of your products, entirely eliminate odours, and minimise the risk of cross-contamination, without additional cleaning?
Introducing AIRsteril, a revolutionary air purification system that can be installed in any food prep, storage or food processing area to extend the shelf life of products, eliminate odours, kill bacteria, and manage staff absenteeism, all without increasing your need to clean. Effective in extending product shelf life and slowing decay, improving kitchen cleanliness, and supporting your environmental health, AIRsteril works 24/7 as an efficient, affordable solution.
What is air sterilisation?
AIRsteril units use a unique blend of six different technologies, delivered in a handy mobile or wall-mounted unit. These combine to control bacteria, viruses and mould both in the air and on surfaces. The system has very low energy consumption, does not have a filter which requires changing, and requires servicing just once per year.
Air is treated via a number of processes, and the system produces and emits Plasma Quatro into the room. The Plasma then goes to work in the wider environment, settling on surfaces and moving through the air, degenerating bacteria, viruses and spores in as little as 60 minutes. For you, this means less bacteria in the air and on surfaces, less risk of contamination or cross-contamination during food prep, extended shelf life of products through less bacterial decay, less staff absenteeism, and no odours. Even better, it works 24/7 too.
Extending product shelf life
Product life is affected by the rate of decay of perishable goods, which is in turn impacted by the rate of bacteria growth and the external environment. Refrigeration, quality cleaning protocols, and bacteria management processes can all help to slow the rate of decay, but so too can effective air quality management and the introduction of air sterilisation. Decay is driven by the rate of production of bacteria, and air sterilisation offers 24/7 management of surface and airborne bacteria in your plant. It helps to reduce the production rate of the bacteria in the first place, and kills 99.9% of bacteria, helping you to extend the shelf life of your products, at the same time as minimising cross-contamination too. Swab results by a leading cooked meat production facility found that using an air sterilisation system from AIRsteril produced comparable results to Hydrogen Peroxide Fogging, without any of the operational or productivity limitations of the fogging method. Similarly, a trial of beef transfer from slaughter to retail found that the use of AIRsteril significantly reduces the total viable counts of enterobacteriaceae and salmonella.
Managing bacteria and infection risk
Bacteria can reproduce at a rapid rate, multiplying from one single bacterium to as many as 8 million bacteria on a surface, in just eight hours. Food hygiene regulations for food prep and food processing, mean that it is your responsibility to stay on top of potential infection risk, managing surface bacteria and preventing cross-contamination. You likely have a comprehensive process in place to do this, but there are two key problems which no amount of cleaning can address:
Human error – despite training, quality cleaning processes and effective products, any cleaning schedule relies on people to carry it out. This means something as simple as human error could lead to an outbreak of food contaminants, traced back to your factory. What’s more, people move, talk, and interact with each other, which also means bacteria can transfer person to person, spreading the problem around your plant. The core advantage of AIRsteril is that is operates 24/7, kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, works in the air and on surfaces, and requires no human input whatsoever, giving you effective, consistent bacteria and infection management and significantly reduced risk compared with cleaning alone.
Airborne pathogens – most food hygiene protocols focus on personal and surface hygiene i.e. the cleanliness of the people on the line and the cleanliness of the surfaces on which the food is prepared. The problem is this doesn’t account for airborne pathogens and bacteria. Despite our very best efforts, the air around us is a soup of bacteria, viruses, spores, mould, dust, and other volatile organic compounds, which can be breathed in, and which also settle on surfaces. That means seconds after your cleaning routine has finished, new bacteria is already settling and multiplying on surfaces. The AIRsteril units combine unique air and surface technologies to kill up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria in the air and on surfaces and can even reduce the need for deep cleaning too. Even better, research by Leeds University found that airborne bacteria cannot be detected after as little as 60 minutes, so the process is fast-acting and constant.
Odours are caused by airborne and surface bacteria and microorganisms, which can produce a number of offensive smells. This is not pleasant to work in and is not a good way of enhancing your reputation either. By its very nature, managing, degenerating and eliminating bacteria, AIRsteril eliminates these odours as standard, delivering better air quality and fewer bad smells, without the need for additional cleaning or perfumed products. They can also be specifically installed for high-odour areas including washrooms and waste management facilities too.
Which units are most suitable?
There are a number of styles and formats of AIRsteril units, including mobile units which can move from room to room, often alongside cleaning teams, or wall- or ceiling-mounted units which provide constant in-room protection. They are priced and installed based on size, but the units most commonly in use in food processing and preparation environments are:
DAX Ultimate – the all-round AIRsteril unit specifically for food preparation areas including factory areas, chilled storage, boning halls and by chillers. A single DAX Ultimate unit can cover areas up to 110m3 and can be used in tandem for larger areas
Multipurpose MP100 - the AIRsteril mobile version, which can be used as a decontamination unit before and after occupation to accompany your cleaning team
Managing Staff Absenteeism
While much of your focus will be on your food hygiene regulatory responsibilities, and your reduction of risk in food spoilage and cross-contamination, employee absenteeism does provide additional cost to the business. One of the advantages of installing an AIRsteril system is that reducing airborne and surface bacteria and viruses, also helps to reduce person-to-person transfer of illnesses and reduce absenteeism. One quantified study over nine months found that absenteeism was reduced by 54% over nine months, saving the business over £200,000.
Scientific Research: Listeria Management
A 2019 scientific research study compared the reproductive rate of Listeria Monocytogenes and Listeria Innocua, with and without air sterilisation, in a cold environment. Sterile surfaces were inoculated with a mixture of the two Listeria bacteria, left to dry naturally and stored in a cold room for four days, with daily measurements taken of the bacterial levels. The test sample without air sterilisation in place showed moderate growth in bacteria over the four days, while the test sample with air sterilisation showed a decrease to 0 log cfu/cm2 within 24 hours, and depletion of the bacterial contamination beyond detectable levels by Day 3. This highlights the power of air sterilisation in bacteria management, helping to reduce cross-contamination and increase product shelf life. Read the full study +