The Importance of Sanitizing in the Food Industry

Why Sanitizing is Vital in the Food Industry 

Sanitizing is the process of removing harmful bacteria and other contaminants from surfaces. In the food industry, sanitizing is especially important in order to prevent microbial contamination, which can often lead to reduced product quality and the spread of disease. When choosing a sanitizer for use in the food industry, it is imperative to select a product that is specifically designed for food-contact surfaces. One such product is Vital Oxide, which is an NSF-registered “no rinse on food-contact surfaces” sanitizer. 

Pathogens in the Food Industry 

Pathogens are microscopic organisms that can cause disease. The main types of pathogens are of concern in the food industry: bacteria, viruses, and fungi. 

  • Bacteria are single-celled organisms that reproduce quickly and are often responsible for foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella and E. coli. 
  • Viruses are even smaller than bacteria and are typically spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or hands.
  • Fungi include yeasts and molds, which can cause spoilage in food products. 

Related: The 2022 Food Recall Guide 

Steps to Effectively Clean and Sanitize

Cleaning involves removing visible dirt, crumbs, food residue, spills, and other debris from objects and surfaces and leaves things looking shiny and clean. Soap and water might be used in this process. 

Cleaning does not kill pathogens, but is the first step to a complete process of preventing foodborne illness. Vital Oxide can be used in this pre-cleaning step. Unlike harsh conventional cleaners like bleach, Vital Oxide can be used on virtually every surface type, including wood, natural stone, stainless steel, concrete, glass, laminate, tile, and more. 

Sanitizing follows cleaning and helps to reduce the number of microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses) to levels deemed safe by public health authorities. Sanitizing is an effective preventative practice since it inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and reduces the number of germs on a surface. 

Some of the food-prep surfaces that should be sanitized include:

  • Beverage equipment
  • Cutting boards
  • Countertops, prep-tables, work surfaces
  • Dishes and utensils 
  • Food-contact equipment (mixers, slicers, grinders, etc.) 
  • Refrigeration units 

Harsh Cleaners Can Damage Food-Contact Surfaces 

Sanitizing is the process of reducing the number of microorganisms on a surface to a safe level. In food processing facilities and commercial kitchens, sanitizing is done to prevent microbial contamination, which can lead to reduced product quality and the spread of illness. However, with repeated cleaning cycles, using highly corrosive products such as chlorine bleach can damage work surfaces and equipment. In some instances, these harsh cleaners can increase the porosity of the surface, making it more difficult to effectively remove food residue and soil, providing the ideal environment for disease-causing bacteria to thrive. 

There is a better way. 

Vital Oxide has a pH balance of 8-9 and is non-corrosive to treated surfaces. It’s also free from harsh chemicals, nauseous fumes, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) 

Vital Oxide is EPA registered and approved by NSF-International for use as a no-rinse required food contact sanitizer. That means it’s effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and mold, and it’s safe to use on surfaces that will come into contact with food, without having to be rinsed off. 

Related: Using Vital Oxide to Clean, Sanitize, & Disinfect Your Restaurant 

How Vital Oxide Works 

Vital Oxide works by releasing oxygen ions when it comes into contact with water vapor in the air. These oxygen ions attach to and break down the cell walls of microorganisms, destroying them at a cellular level. 

It’s important to choose a food-contact sanitizer that is both effective and safe for use on equipment and surfaces that will come into contact with food. Vital Oxide meets both of those criteria—it’s EPA registered and approved for use as a no-rinse required food contact sanitizer, and it’s effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and mold. Plus, Vital Oxide is easy to use—just spray it on and let it air dry. There’s no need to rinse. When you use Vital Oxide as part of your regular cleaning routine, you can be confident that your surfaces are clean and sanitized.

Want to learn about using Vital Oxide in your food production facility, restaurant, commercial kitchen, or home kitchen? Interested in a white-label program? We’d love to chat. Contact us today.
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