BOC food safety unit's UV technology gets OK from USDA

Intervent ultraviolet (UV) light technology that makes food safer for consumers by inactivating Listeria on food contact surfaces has been acknowledged as a control treatment of Listeria monocytogenes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). The technology's effectiveness has been validated by independent research conducted by Iowa State University. Intervent is a food safety business of the BOC Group...

MURRAY HILL, NJ, March 29, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Intervent ultraviolet (UV) light technology that makes food safer for consumers by inactivating Listeria on food contact surfaces has been acknowledged as a control treatment of Listeria monocytogenes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). The technology's effectiveness has been validated by independent research conducted by Iowa State University. Intervent is a food safety business of BOC.

The newly validated non-aqueous UV light belt sanitizer is especially significant for producers of ready-to-eat (RTE) foods because the pre-packaged nature of these foods eliminates the final, in-home cooking step that can kill any Listeria organisms.

"Producers of RTE products can now have confidence that there is a proven effective, acknowledged and economical means of killing Listeria on food contact surfaces," said Mark DiMaggio, BOC business manager, food safety markets.

A recent risk assessment conducted by the USDA FSIS, in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, ranks certain RTE meat and poultry products as having a high potential for contamination. This is partly because Listeria, unlike other pathogens, is capable of growing at refrigerated storage temperatures during the extended shelf life of RTE meat and poultry products.

James Dixon, Ph.D., regent's distinguished professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, validated the new Intervent UV light belt sanitizer as a treatment for Listeria on food contact surfaces. The technology uses germicidal low-pressure UV light emitters to disrupt the DNA and RNA of microbial cells, thereby inactivating them. The validation showed that a one-second exposure treatment to UV reduced levels of Listeria monocytogenes from initial inoculation of 5 logs to below detection.

The Intervent conveyer belt sanitizer is a state of the art advanced technology that continuously kills bacteria on conveyer belts during food processing. The sanitizer is placed on conveyor-driven food process lines just before packaging or other operations where the potential exists for cross contamination from the conveying surfaces to food products.

The system can be easily retrofitted and customized to meet individual plant requirements. In addition, Intervent technologies are extremely cost effective compared with other treatment options.

Intervent developed the conveyer belt sanitizer in response to the needs of raw and RTE meat product processors. The system helps keep food contact surfaces sanitized in locations where it is not desirable for wet chemical or water-based sanitation to come in contact with food products. The system helps food processors eliminate excess moisture before key processes such as packaging and protect the final product between full plant wash down and other sanitation procedures.

Food processors look to BOC for its experience and expertise in delivering the engineered solutions they need. BOC helps customers address their atmosphere, microbe and temperature control requirements so they can deliver the highest quality food and beverages to their customers. BOC provides a range of offerings, such as ozone and UV light anti-microbial systems, cryogenic gases including carbon dioxide and nitrogen for seafood chilling and freezing, oxygen for acquaculture, modified atmosphere packaging, state-of-the-art food and beverage monitoring and process control technologies, and water management services.

The BOC Group (www.boc.com), a worldwide industrial gases, vacuum technologies and distribution services company, serves two million customers in more than 50 countries. It employs more than 43,000 people and had annual sales greater than $8.3 billion in 2004.

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[Photo: Southwest Regional Center for Biodefense]

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