Outbreaks Break Out

As contaminated food supplies continue to make headlines, sanitizing in commercial settings has never been more important.


By: Tom Branna

Outbreaks Break Out

When a burrito goes bad, it’s bad for business—just ask Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Tex-Mex titan of fast food has been hammered by investors and would-be patrons for the past two years over foodborne illnesses. Most recently, in August, the company said it would retrain all of its restaurant workers nationwide on food safety after more than 600 customers became ill after eating at one of its restaurants located in Powell, OH. 

Unfortunately for fast food lovers, bad bugs are cropping up everywhere. In September, the US Centers for Disease Control was notified of 511 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infections in people from 15 states and New York City who reported consuming a variety of salads from McDonald’s restaurants in the Midwest. The outbreak occurred earlier that summer and McDonald’s voluntarily stopped selling salads at more than 3000 locations in 14 states.

While bad for the restaurant business, health concerns like these are good for the industrial and institutional cleaning industry. I&I product sales rise 2% year-in and year-out, according to Kline, but growth rates vary greatly depending on the category and company size.

“The I&I cleaning space is very diverse and every type of setting, whether it’s a hospital, hotel, school, gym or office building, has its own challenges and needs,” explained Brad Ferris, brand engagement lead, Clorox Professional. “For example, concern about antibiotic resistance and pathogens like C. diff and CRE (Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae) is greater in healthcare facilities and nursing homes, where vulnerable populations are at a higher risk of infection. Facilities like hotels might be more concerned about controlling odors and ensuring spaces appear clean and fresh.”

That said, Ferris explained that community-associated infections are also on the rise and widely publicized outbreaks have increased awareness of infection prevention across the board.
“Nursing homes are particularly interesting because of their dual function as healthcare and communal, residential spaces,” he told Happi. “As healthcare delivery continues to evolve and extend beyond acute-care, to a wide range of outpatient settings, there is a growing need for multi-functional, versatile solutions, which is something we are really seeing throughout the I&I space.”

Under the new CloroxPro brand, the company is looking at facilities holistically and providing an expansive, unified portfolio that offers the specialization needed to meet distinct facility needs, like C. diff prevention in hospitals or killing parvo virus in vet offices, as well as deep expertise and leading solutions for challenges that all commercial facilities face, like tackling stains and odors in public restrooms.

Two years ago, the company launched Clorox Healthcare Fuzion Cleaner Disinfectant, which Ferris described as a truly next-generation bleach product that was the first to combine the broad-spectrum efficacy and fast kill times of bleach with broad surface compatibility and very low odor.

“We spent years developing this shelf-stable product and the revolutionary technology it uses to eliminate the chemical reaction that can damage surfaces and leave a residue,” he said.
The solution contains sodium hypochlorite and a neutralizer that, when combined, form hypochlorous acid. The result is a highly effective one-step cleaner and disinfectant with broad surface compatibility and little to no residue that also has the fastest contact time for C. diff spores.

According to Ferris, Fuzion has been extremely well received, so much so, that a growing number of healthcare facilities, including Fairfield Medical Center and St. Vincent Healthcare for example, use it facility-wide.

“Disinfecting with bleach has long been recognized as one of the most effective strategies for reducing C. diff rates in hospitals, but it used to be easier said than done,” said Ferris. “Using bleach everywhere, not only in isolation rooms and high-risk patient areas, but also in public spaces like waiting rooms, restrooms, hallways and elevators, on a daily basis is a remarkable evolution from historical norms. With Fuzion, we’ve broken down the key barriers to using bleach and enabled healthcare facilities to implement standardized bleach-based cleaning and disinfecting protocols to fight pathogens, enhance infection prevention and promote patient safety facility-wide.”

Earth Friendly Products has been operating in the institutional and food service space for years. The company produces the Ecos line of environmentally-friendly cleaners. Most recently, Earth Friendly Products rolled out a new label design at ISSA. According to company executives, the primary reason for the new labels is that they are now designed with a color scheme that helps users in hospitals, schools, restaurants, and other industries quickly, easily and accurately identify the right product for the right cleaning application. Users no longer need to stop and read every label to ensure they are putting the right product on the right surface. Additionally, the labels now share a similar color scheme to Earth Friendly Products consumer line, which company executives say will help both sides of the business.

Eat Your Vegetables!
HealthPro Brands CEO Todd Wichmann says same-store sales of his Fit Organic produce wash rose 80% at Kroger’s following the recent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. But now, Wichmann is taking his Fit formula to the industrial and institutional cleaning industry.

New Fit Fresh Anti-Microbial Produce Wash kills 99.9% of food-borne pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella sp., Listeria and Staphylococcus aureus on fruits and vegetables. The formula is EPA-registered, FDA-approved and OMRI-certified. According to Wichmann, the formula is a combination of certified organic surfactants (saponins) and chlorine dioxide—the first of its kind in the market. It is specifically designed to clean and sanitize produce, but it can also be used in the meat and dairy industries, too, according to Wichmann.

“Fit Fresh is also a great general sanitizer for surfaces and drains in all food processing plants as well,” he told Happi. “Importantly, for the first time ever we have a Fit product that is certified by the three most important agencies: the EPA, the FDA, and OMRI (certified for use on organic food products).”

Fit Fresh Anti-Microbial Produce Wash contains chlorine dioxide, a sanitizing agent that Wichmann calls the best there is on the market—but ClO2 is very unstable. To overcome this limitation, Fit is shipped in a sachet with a membrane; the user just adds water and dilutes as necessary.

“No one offers this delivery system,” asserts Wichmann.

Now, HealthPro Brands has another way to physically deliver its products, too, having inked a deal with Waypoint as its national sales and marketing agency in the US. Wichmann says the partnership leverages Waypoint’s unparalleled strategic business intelligence, channel expertise and proficient scalable execution. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2009 and 2015, there were 5,760 reported foodborne illness outbreaks, which resulted in more than 100,000 illnesses. What’s the number one food source responsible for the most outbreaks? Chicken. But poultry is by no means the only source of contamination. Just last month, the FDA said it was working with Conagra Brands to investigate salmonella contamination in Duncan Hines cake mixes. The CDC notes that anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile.

That was heartbreakingly evident in New Jersey last month when 10 children died of an Adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation and 27 others were sickened by it. A second outbreak of the virus was reported at the Voorhees Pediatric Facility, also in New Jersey. Adenovirus is a common viral infection that most often infects airways. According to health experts, disinfectants such as 0.55% orth-phthalaldehyde and 0.2% peracetic acid are effective at killing adenovirus. 

Old Blood & Such
That old Jerry Seinfeld bit about Tide’s ability to remove bloodstains, “If you have bloodstains on your shirt, I think you have more things to worry about than clean laundry,” gets taken to a whole new level with Clorox Commercial Solution’s Disinfecting Bio Stain & Odor Remover, which promises to remove blood, feces, sweat, vomit and urine stains—which are all part of the job for custodians.

According to Clorox, the product is scientifically formulated to break down bio soils, eliminate stains and odors and kill microorganisms in as little as 30 seconds, helping reduce the spread of harmful microorganisms and keep surfaces clean and stain-free. With the oxidizing power of hydrogen peroxide and stain-lifting power of surfactants, the unique formula provides strong cleaning performance, and is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens standard.

Clorox Professional regularly surveys cleaning professionals to help better understand the challenges that they face across all facilities and the products and resources needed to meet them. In one of its most recent surveys, Clorox Professional wanted to better understand the real problems that facility managers face with bio stains and odors.

“We knew that bio soil messes were a problem, but we were surprised to find that almost 50% of cleaning professionals must deal with blood or feces spills every day. The volume of accidents that need to be addressed on a daily basis underscores the fact that industry professionals need an effective, one-step product like Clorox Disinfecting Bio Stain & Odor Remover,” explained Ferris. “In our survey of consumers, we discovered the large impact bio messes have on consumer perception of facilities. Even in facilities like schools and veterinary facilities where bio accidents may be understandably more common, they can still lead to significant reputational harm and negatively impact business results.” 

The new formula promises to remove all of these bio soils in one step on both hard and soft surfaces. Ferris said that until recently, cleaning professionals typically relied on multiple products to absorb, clean, disinfect and deodorize surfaces when bio soils are present, because there was no single go-to product to effectively treat hard and soft surfaces in one-step. Clorox Disinfecting Bio Stain & Odor Remover is scientifically formulated to clean, disinfect and deodorize surfaces, reducing the number of products needed to one.

“(It) delivers strong cleaning and disinfection performance and broad surface compatibility,” said Ferris. “Its scientific formulation harnesses the stain-lifting power of surfactants to break down bio soils and eliminate stains and odors better than enzymes and the disinfecting strength of hydrogen peroxide to kill pathogens in as little as 30 seconds.”

It is EPA-registered to kill 19 microorganisms commonly found in bio messes like blood, feces and vomit, and is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration  Bloodborne Pathogens standard.”

As the weather gets colder in the Northern Hemisphere, custodians in the region have their work cut out for them.

“Cleaning professionals are constantly challenged with doing more with less and are responsible for the dual imperative of cleaning to ensure a facility looks and smells clean and disinfecting to help control the spread of illness-causing pathogens, especially as winter illness season approaches,” noted Ferris. “From absenteeism and facility closures to negative press, illnesses and infections can have serious impacts on public and commercial settings—and not just during flu season. Now more than ever before, facility managers carry the weight of protecting their facilities’ reputation through cleaning products and protocols.”

More from Clorox
The Disinfecting Bio Stain & Odor Remover isn’t the only news out of Clorox. New Clorox Total 360 System for Healthcare combines electrostatic technology with EPA-registered disinfecting and sanitizing solutions to quickly and easily provide superior coverage in even the hardest-to-reach places. Designed for efficient, comprehensive surface treatment and broad surface compatibility, the Clorox Total 360 System is an ideal solution for large and difficult to clean spaces, surfaces and objects in healthcare settings and can be used in patient care areas, disinfect wheelchairs and other mobile equipment and to improve environmental hygiene in high-traffic public spaces such as waiting rooms, hallways and rehab units. The innovative system covers up to 18,000 square feet per hour, achieving superior surface coverage up to 75% faster and using up to 65% less product compared with traditional disinfectants per square foot, according to the company.

Clorox Healthcare VersaSure Cleaner Disinfection Wipes are said to be versatile enough to use on common healthcare surfaces with the assurance of broad spectrum disinfection. The low-odor, low-residue, alcohol-free formula’s patented technology enhances quat activity to deliver broader efficacy and faster kill times without co-actives. EPA-registered to kill 44 pathogens in two minutes or less, VersaSure provides the speed and efficacy healthcare facilities need, with superior aesthetics, wetness and cleaning power for convenient, compliant use facility-wide.
VersaSure is compatible with a broad range of hard, non-porous surfaces and available in a variety of sizes, including multipurpose and terminal wipes.

According to Ferris, environmentally-friendlier formulas are definitely popular, but the reality is that for most commercial facilities, “a ‘green-only’ approach just isn’t realistic.

“The challenge is that illnesses and infections can occur in any of these spaces and have significant health as well as business impacts, like absenteeism and reputational damage. We like to say ‘green where you can and disinfect where you must’ because all facilities need to maintain clean, pleasant environments and kill germs that can cause illnesses and outbreaks.”

At a high level, Clorox has discovered that most commercial settings are focused on reducing costs and want highly effective products with low toxicity profiles that are easy to use. That’s why the company approaches the professional cleaning industry from a public health perspective and focuses on practical, effective solutions for the toughest challenges in each of these settings, explained Ferris.

Help When Needed
When end-users need help now, Diversey’s Remote Guidance augmented reality tool is at the ready, according to officials. Remote Guidance is an iOS- and Android-based virtual reality tool that improves product trouble-shooting beyond face-to-face phone calls and video chats. In real-time, users can identify problems and quickly assess solutions through interactive experiences.

“Unanticipated on-the-job cleaning and hygiene issues can result in costly downtime and increased risk, making it essential for employees to have access to intelligent solutions that simplify trouble-shooting,” explained Andrew Martin, marketing technology global portfolio manager, Diversey. “Remote Guidance elevates the training process, allowing users to solve issues on the spot to keep businesses running smoothly.”

In addition to improving end-user training, Remote Guidance prevents equipment shutdowns, assists personnel onboarding, and provides distributor sales representatives application expertise anytime and anywhere they are needed, according to Martin.

Earlier this year, Diversey launched Wood Care by Diversey, a program developed with the help of Bona, a leader in hardwood floor installation, renovation and maintenance. Designed for K-12 educational facilities, the wood floor care program was recently awarded a 2018 New Product Award from School Planning & Management and College Planning & Management magazines.
According to Ryan Greenawald, director, facilities and machines marketing, Diversey, the program features an industry first, two-year guarantee, plus smart systems and more than 30 time-saving and appearance-enhancing solutions that simplify floor care and protect valuable flooring assets in high-traffic areas like school gymnasiums and auditoriums.

“Increasingly, these spaces are used year-round and for more than just sports and pep rallies, with schools and community groups hosting other events like fundraisers and fairs,” he explained. “Wood floors can be costly to replace, so they must be properly maintained over time. Wood Care by Diversey makes it easier for teams to maintain these floors, cutting preparation time in half and eliminating days of downtime.”

Cutting prep time and eliminating downtime are critical in the labor-intensive I&I cleaning market.  

Spot On! Kline Looks at Laundry Chemicals
• The nearly $1.3 billion institutional laundry chemical category is growing 3% a year as it goes through loads of changes, with more facilities outsourcing on-premise laundry operations to commercial laundries, according to a recent study by Kline, which conducted 500 surveys with laundry operators and published its findings earlier this year.

“It’s a matter of efficiency,” explained Laura Mahecha, a healthcare and I&I industry expert, with Kline Market Research. “Hospitals would rather devote space to health care needs such as diagnostic imaging rather than laundry operations.”

Kline asked survey recipients the most critical buying factors when it comes to I&I laundry products. The biggest requirement was stain removal, which was most important for all end uses, but was especially high in extended care and commercial laundries. Sanitizing and disinfecting properties were also critical; while extending linen life was especially important for lodging users.

“The other trend we have observed is a big increase in purchasing through retail, which now represents 17% of institutional laundry category sales,” said Mahecha. “It’s a matter of convenience for a gym, salon or spa owner. They don’t need a 55 gallon drug of detergent.”

The Kline study provides complete analysis of the market by end-use segment, product category, supplier and channels of distribution. It provides current and future outlook for key sectors, including commercial laundries and major and minor on-premises laundries (OPLs).
It reviews the penetration of textile rental and its future outlook in key market sectors, as well as consolidation into shared and central facilities in the hospital sector and other segments.
The study also reveals the impact of environmental sustainability and the role of green cleaning products and alternative processes; the role of machinery; and provides end users’ perspectives on emerging trends such as Internet of Things (IoT), shifts in channels of distribution where laundry chemicals are purchased and fabric/linen trends.

More info: www.klinegroup.com

Here’s to the Winners of the ISSA innovation awards!
• The industrial and institutional cleaning industry was in Dallas this fall for the annual ISSA Show North America. For manufacturers, distributors and cleaning professionals, the event is the place to see, hear and talk about the latest innovations in the I&I space. Toward the end of the final day of the ISSA Show, the action on the show floor focused on the ISSA Innovation Marketplace as participants prepared to learn the identity of the winner of the 2018 ISSA Innovation of the Year Award. The ISSA Innovation Award Program is a platform to gather and recognize the cleaning industry’s most innovative products and services from top manufacturers and suppliers. This year, the 2018 ISSA Innovation of the Year Award went to EvoClean by Hydro Systems Co. EvoClean is a venture-based, water-powered laundry chemical dispenser for on-premise laundry applications.

Additionally, due to extremely close grading by the judges this year, Honorable Mention

Awards were presented to the following four entries:
• Kira B50 Intelligent Cleaning Robot by Kärcher North America;
• Kolo Smart Monitoring System by GP Pro;
• Scotch-Brite Clean & Shine Pad by 3M Commercial Solutions Division; and
• Tork PeakServe Continuous Towel Refill and System by Essity Professional Hygiene North America LLC.

Category Awards:
• Cleaning Agents—Enviro-Solutions Terrazzo and Concrete Floor Care Program by Charlotte Products Ltd.;
• Dispensers—The Complete Menstrual Care System for Your Facility by Hospeco;
• Equipment: Kira B50 Intelligent Cleaning Robot by Kärcher North America;
• Services and Technology: Kolo Smart Monitoring System by GP Pro; and
• Supplies and Accessories: Unger Excella by Unger Enterprises.

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