Dr. Keith Warriner, Food Microbiologist at the University of Guelph joined the Arlene Bynon Show to discuss how the Clean Works innovation could be the key to sanitizing food in the current battle against the virus.
“Produce is a high-risk commodity. Finally, there’s a scientifically validated alternative to washing. I think of Clēan Verification as a firewall between the field and the dinner plate.”
Post-Harvest Washing Is No Longer a Viable Option for Decontaminating Produce
What You Need
Fresh produce is a considerable source of foodborne illness outbreaks, such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and human parasites, among others. In the past, outbreaks of this nature were primarily limited to leafy greens, tomatoes, and cantaloupes. A recent trend, however, indicates that more diverse produce types (such as cucumbers and papayas) are being implicated.
While on-farm good agriculture practices (GAP) largely contribute to preventing such pathogens from entering the fresh produce chain, these practices simply cannot be relied on due to the nature of farming and food processing.
There is a clear need for interventions that can remove field and processing acquired contaminations. This is especially true since fresh produce is often eaten raw.
What We Do
Clēan Verification is a decontamination treatment and alternative to traditional post-harvest washing, the latter of which provides limited and unpredictable decontamination efficacy. Post-harvest washing was once considered decontamination but is now understood to be a high-risk cross-contamination point.
Our process, using ultraviolet light, vaporized hydrogen peroxide, and ozone, kills up to 99.99% of pathogens and is more effective and consistent than traditional cleaning methods. Clēan Verification can be applied individually or sequentially to microbes on the surface and subsurface of fresh produce.
Continuous monitoring of critical limits is an added advantage to a process that virtually eliminates pathogens.
The Science Behind Our Technology
Traditional methods of cleaning produce, using chlorine washes, only offer a 50% contaminant reduction (0.5 log). Clēan Verification is up to 99.99% effective at killing harmful pathogens and mold. To put that into perspective, operating room sterility is 99.9% (3 log).
Benefits extend to all major players in the agri-food industry – growers, packers and processors, wholesalers, and retailers.
Not only does the Clēan Verification process reduce health risks, but it also increases the shelf life of produce by up to 25%.
Packers And Processors
In The News
Clēan Works is a joint venture between Moyer’s Apple Products and Court Holdings Ltd.Moyer’s brings the grassroots understanding of the produce business and the drive to solve real-world problems for the industry. Court Holdings, a global manufacturer with a focus on innovation, brings the know-how to design processes and scale production. The Food Science Department at University of Guelph has partnered with Clēan Works to test processes and share results in peer reviewed journals.