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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Operations > Standard Operating Procedures for Green and Sustainable Business Operations > Pollution Prevention > Pollution Prevention - P2

Ozone Disinfection System for Restaurants and Food Operations to Reduce Bacteria

Eco-Safe anti-microbial ozone wash-down restaurant system for cold water bacteria removal and cold water disinfected cleaning

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Ozone is only one of many food sanitizing ingredients and processes being used, examined, or proposed to improve food safety. Steam pasteurization, flash pasteurization, and ultraviolet radiation are additional methods that can sanitize food. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and research continues on which methods or combinations of sanitizing processes work best for specific foods.

California water conservation

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a bluish explosive gas or blue liquid. It is found naturally in the atmosphere at sea level contains an ozone concentration at very low levels, but is also an air pollutant and a component of smog, reaching tenfold or higher levels in cities at times. Although it is a pollutant and health hazard in the lower atmosphere, naturally occurring ozone is produced in the outer atmosphere by the photoreaction of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation on oxygen protecting the earth from excessive radiation.

Ozone decomposes spontaneously in water and is a very reactive oxidizing agent with a short half-life. It is used to disinfect water and to oxidize color and taste contaminants in water. It is also increasingly used for disinfection purposes of food and food contact surfaces and is permitted by the National Organic Standards for use in organic processing (including post harvest handling) with no restrictions.

Eco-Safe, SoCal Company Manufactures Ozone Disinfection Systems

Eco-Safe Systems USA, Inc. launches its R-1000 Ozone Disinfection System, developed especially for restaurants, has been selected for testing by two fast-food restaurant chains.

According to the USDA, Ozone, a form of oxygen commonly associated either with its ability to guard against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation or with smog, gained approval for use in the U.S. food processing industry to help rid food of dangerous pathogens (bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses). In July 1997, ozone was deemed “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) as a disinfectant for foods by an independent panel of experts sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute.

Applications of ozone wash-down systems

Ozone wash-down systems are currently in use in numerous seafood food processing applications such as retail fish markets, wholesale seafood plants and commercial fishing boat fleets. Ozone wash-down is also used in grocery store produce sections, beef and poultry processing industries, and water reclamation systems by manufacturing operations such as dye plants, that need to clean their wastewater before release into the sewer system.

Ozone has long been recognized as a disinfectant for water, first used in a U.S. water drinking plant in 1940. Today, nearly 200 municipal water treatment plants, from Orlando to Los Angeles, employ ozone to help cleanse their drinking water.

The strength of the case for using ozone may rest with its versatility and environmental benefits over some existing food sanitizing methods. Ozonated water can be used on food products as a disinfectant wash or spray. When dispersed into water, ozone can kill bacteria—like E. coli— faster than traditionally used disinfectants, such as chlorine.

Ozone also kills viruses, parasites, and fungi. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1991, confirmed that ozone was effective in ridding water of hazardous pathogens, including chlorine- resistant Cryptosporidium.

Testing of the Eco-Safe's model R-1000 is already underway at a popular restaurant chain with over 1,000 locations. A second restaurant chain, with over 3,000 locations, is currently preparing testing protocols for the R-1000 with the assistance of Eco-Safe's technical personnel.

The fast-food chains were attracted by the R-1000's disinfection capabilities and exceptional price point formulated on a cost per sink per day basis, with an open-ended lease.

The Eco-Safe R-1000 system solves difficult bacterial disinfection and resistant buildup and biofilm. It saves on labor costs by redu8cing cleanup time up to 80%. It saves on chemical and detergent costs by eliminating use of any chemicals from the ozonated water. It saves on energy costs because it works in cold water and energy costs for hot water my be reduced by 100%. The ozonated water kills bacteria and viruses better than any other product and 3,000 times faster than chlorine, yet is safe for humans. Ozonated water has been approved by the USDA and FDA, even for Organic products.

The unit connects directly to the water line coming into the business. From that point on, every tap delivers ozonated water which will kill bacteria on contact. When employees wipe off a table with water fresh from the tap, the tabletop will be disinfected, not just damp.

Ozone also destroys odors because odors come from bacteria.

Ice machines are known to be a breeding ground for bacteria but that will no longer be the case with the Eco-Safe R-1000 connected to your ice machine.

The USDA and FDA have approved its use and the FDA has certified ozone dissolved in water to be "Generally Recognized As Safe."

Eco-Safe R-1000 kills over 200 pathogens including E.coli and other life-threatening bacteria that can enter a restaurante from food, your employees, and from sources you can't predict.

A key ingredient of Eco-Safe's marketing program for the R-1000 is this very favorable leasing arrangement, previously negotiated by Eco-Safe with its leasing company and now made available to restaurant chains. Using this leasing tool with the excellent sanitizing characteristics of the R-1000, Eco-Safe's goal is the rapid penetration of the huge nationwide restaurant market in the United States. This leasing program provides immediate payment to Eco-Safe with no contingent liability.

Michael Elliot, President of Eco-Safe Systems USA, Inc., said, "With a marketplace of over 90,000 fast-food restaurants seeking ways to eliminate food contamination, the R-1000 is an exceptionally attractive product both for Eco-Safe and restaurants because it combines exceptional food safety benefits with a high return on investment."

A Scientific Overview of Ozone in the Atmosphere

According to Dennis Harp, Ph.D. and chief scientist for Eco Safe systems USA, ozone has complex properties. The chief culprits for creating smog-related ozone are VOC's, or Volatile Organic Compounds produced by the likes of automobile exhaust. By themselves, VOC's reduce ozone from normal levels of 0.02 to 0.04 ppm (parts per million). However, when oxides of nitrogen (exhaust products) interact with sunlight and elevated temperatures (a hot, sunny day), ozone is produced as a reaction byproduct.

The amount of ozone in the atmosphere is very easy to measure, and the 8-hour limit for atmospheric ozone as set by the EPA is 0.08 ppm. At this point, smog is dangerous, and this only happens when combustion reaction products are concentrated in the atmosphere. However, the OSHA limit for atmospheric ozone concentration in the workplace is 0.1 ppm for an 8-hour period.

So, 0.1 ppm of ozone is not harmful, but if you are outdoors, a concentration 20% lower is harmful. The seemingly inescapable conclusion would be that it isn't the ozone that is harmful at 0.08 ppm, but the rest of the pollutants in the atmosphere that created that much ozone in the first place.

Is ozone is a pollutant? Ozone is caused by pollutants. Ozone concentration allows us to determine when air pollution has reached dangerous levels. Smog-related levels of ozone judged hazardous by the EPA are not considered dangerous by OSHA, so it must be something besides the ozone creating the actual problem. So saying ozone is a component of smog is not inaccurate, but the press on the issue is interpreted by many to believe ozone is the culprit.

Eco-Safe Systems USA, Inc.
7306 Coldwater Canyon, Suite 10
North Hollywood, CA 91605
(323) 547-2227
www.ecosafeusa.com



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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