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The Latest Listeria Threat: How UV Can Help
listeria.jpg

On Monday, a major food production facility had to issue a voluntary recall on numerous products due to a possible contamination of vegetables sourced by their company.  There were 98 different products included in the recall - affecting major retail chains, including Walmart, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Albertsons and many more across the country.   This shows how quickly an issue at a single facility can lead to widespread, multi-state outbreaks.  In 2015, an outbreak associated with a brand of packaged salads led to 19 hospitalizations and one death across 9 states.  

Listeria Blue Bell.PNG

Many people are also familiar with the major outbreak associated with Blue Bell ice cream, which caused 10 cases of listeriosis and 3 deaths.  What was originally perceived as an isolated incident led to multiple recalls across 5 states.  

about listeria

According to the CDC, Listeria monocytogenes infects 1600 people each year and approximately 260 die.  While this recall was made prior to any reported illnesses, it can take 2-10 weeks or longer to determine if someone was part of a Listeria outbreak according to the CDC.  The bacteria can be especially dangerous to pregnant women with the ability to cause miscarriages or long-term health effects in the child.  It is also more dangerous to adults over the age of 65.

Listeria is commonly found in:

  • Soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk
  • Raw sprouts
  • Melons
  • Hot dogs
  • Lunch & deli meats

The USDA has numerous recommendations for facilities on prevention, including sanitizing utensils and equipment, taking apart ready-to-eat food processing equipment prior to cleaning, scrubbing surfaces to ensure listeria is not forming biofilms that become harder to clean, rotating sanitizers to ensure listeria is not establishing niches, and using low water pressure to ensure you're not spreading microorganisms unintentionally with splashing and overspray.  

UV light for disinfection

Given the severity of the potential effects of this pathogen and how easily it can spread across the country, it is critical that facilities have a multitude of tools at their disposal.  UV light has been proven effective against listeria (in addition to other pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella that cause foodborne illnesses).  As an additional layer of protection, UV light can help reduce the risk of listeriosis and it has been proven as a promising bactericidal option in food facilities as it does not negatively effect the color, flavor, odor or taste of the product.

For more information about how Violet Defense products, such as the S.A.G.E. UV Whole Room Unit could help protect against this threat, contact us.  

 

 

 

 

 

5 Surprising Ultraviolet Uses for the Hospitality Industry
Hotel Housekeeping Products

The primary objective of the hospitality industry is to provide welcoming, convenient, and safe places to stay and eat. There’s no question that one of the biggest challenges those in the industry face is keeping ahead of the germs and bacteria guests leave behind.

Did you know that using ultraviolet light to disinfect guest rooms and other areas of your establishment can help ensure guests’ safety – and safeguard your reputation? It’s true. Here are five surprising ultraviolet light uses you may not know about.

#1: Television Remotes and Telephones

The television remotes and telephones in hotel rooms are notoriously germ-laden. Wiping them down with disinfectants may kill some of the bacteria and germs they hold, but it won’t get all of them.

If you’re seeking ultraviolet light uses as a way of justifying investing in new technology, consider that you can place your remotes, phones, and other small items that guests touch – such as alarm clocks – into the direct path of the ultraviolet light.  Germs will be killed anywhere the light touches. The next guest who checks in can be confident that switching on the TV or calling down for room service won’t expose them to harmful germs.

#2: Food Preparation Areas

Keeping kitchens, pantries, and food storage spaces free of bacteria is a battle that never ends. In fact, even the most rigorous cleaning with traditional methods such as soap, water, and bleach can leave harmful bacteria behind.

One of the most revolutionary ultraviolet light uses is cleaning kitchens and food prep areas. Knives, cutting boards, sinks, shelves, and cookware may all be disinfected using ultraviolet light technology. In fact, using ultraviolet light to clean your kitchen or restaurant means never having to worry about inadequate cleaning or sick guests because bacteria can’t build up a resistance to UV light like they can chemical cleaners.

#3: Pillows and Blankets

Guests expect their sheets, pillowcases, and towels to be washed in hot water regularly. However, it isn’t practical for hotels to launder pillows and quilts every time a guest leaves. For that reason, guests’ beds can often harbor dangerous bacteria even if the linens have been freshly washed.

Some businesses use ultraviolet light wands and portable devices, but there are risks associated with using them as well. A user who doesn’t put the wand close enough to a surface or use it for long enough may end up leaving harmful organisms in place. That’s why we’ve focused on creating UV technology that is designed to work autonomously and can reduce the risk of human error resulting in missed germs.

In the end, advising guests that your rooms have been cleaned with ultraviolet technology can give them peace of mind that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

#4: Fitness Centers

It might surprise you to learn that a study found that fitness equipment may have more than 1,000,000 germs per square inch.  Nearly every hotel has a fitness facility for their guests’ enjoyment, but your guests won’t thank you if they end up ill due to using your equipment.

Furthermore, the unpleasant smell that is present in many gyms is not due to sweat, it’s actually due to the bacteria that grows as a result. Using ultraviolet light to disinfect the room can halt the growth of harmful bacteria for good.

#5: Way to Leverage Higher Premiums

You might expect that switching to ultraviolet technology to disinfect your establishment might cost more than what you’re currently doing. However, the opposite may very well be true.

Companies in the hospitality industry spend a lot of money buying sanitary wipes and other sanitation products. Research studies, as well as real life programs with hotels such as Best Western and MGM Grand have shown that incorporating additional disinfection protocols and/or wellness features into your rooms can drive increased guest satisfaction, occupancy rates, and/or higher premiums.

The Bottom Line

Instead of worrying that your cleaning staff might have missed harmful bacteria, consider using ultraviolet technology to disinfect guest and employee areas of your business.

To learn more about how Violet Defense’s S.A.G.E. UV line can clean guest rooms– and keep your hospitality business free of germs– please click here.

Keeping Germs at Bay in Fitness Centers - A New Solution
Germs on Fitness Equipment

risk for bacterial infections in fitness centers

Each year over 55 million members stride into one of over 36,000 health clubs throughout the United States, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association - people who are trying to commit to their own personal health and wellness.  The last thing any of them want is to risk that wellness by contracting a virus or bacterial infection.  

Look at any checklist for how to select a gym - once you get past the usual suspects - location, equipment, cost - you'll no doubt find cleanliness at the top of that list.  Shape Magazine recommends not only checking for means to wipe down equipment, but also to pay attention to to other areas, such as the bathrooms to ensure the facility is keeping up with good hygiene.

However, club owners cannot stop at the dirt that you can see.  That locker room smell is not sweat - it's actually bacteria.  One study published by FitRated.com found, on average, that treadmills, exercise bikes, and free weights all have more than 1 million colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch.  This included bacteria known to cause skin infections, pneumonia, and septicemia.  To put those numbers further in perspective - it's more bacteria than what you typically find on a public toilet seat.  

Another study found that viruses (generally rhinoviruses) were found on 63% of equipment in fitness centers.  This same study found that standard disinfection of the equipment was not actually effectively protecting against virus exposure.

germ killing light for fitness centers

While many fitness facilities offer alcohol wipes or other cleaning methods to keep germs at bay, and should continue to do so, they are not necessarily sufficient to effectively kill the bacteria and germs that place customers at risk.  Violet Defense has patented technology behind its germ-killing lights that have been independently proven to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria, including MRSA.      

Contact Violet Defense today to find out how we can help add another layer of protection to your fitness center.

Natural Cleaning Power of Sunlight
Sunshine - Alternate to Clorox Bleach

Spring Cleaning

When spring cleaning time hits, check out any home magazine and you'll see a cadre of the latest tips on how to clean your home faster, deeper, or with less chemicals.  We all want to find fast, inexpensive, but effective ways to clean our spaces, freshen up our linens that have been closed up all winter, or to get rid of the mildew on our gear that's been hidden away in our closet for too long.

You can spend a lot of time soaking and scrubbing those items, or you can take the advice of many sites and take them outside and hang them on a clothesline for a day.  Remember the days when we all put our clothes out to dry and they smelled a little fresher and our whites were a little whiter?

That's because we were using the power of sunlight which has provided us a natural, effective bleaching agent that is gentler than chemical bleaches.  Sunlight has the ability to kill bacteria, mildew, mold, and even viruses.  One of the great things about putting your clothes out on the line was you hung them in the morning, went about your day, and when you came back, they were fresh, clean, and dry.  

Ultraviolet Light for Disinfection

While the days of clothes dried in the sun are gone for most of us - left to the nostalgic memories of childhood - we can still get the germ-killing benefits that sunlight brought us.  Violet Defense Technology has created a technology that can bring the power of sunlight indoors into every day spaces and uses.  With our S.A.G.E. whole room units, leave the room and the germ-killing lights will activate.  When you come back later, you are returning to a room where bacteria, fungi, and mold have been killed.

Contact us for more information or to get a quote on how you can bring the power of sunlight to your indoor world.