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  • GUESS HOW MUCH BACTERIA JUST ENTERED YOUR FACTORY?!
    E-coli bacteria

    E-coli bacteria

    You have a filtered air supply system? The the filters were recently changed out? Should be all compliant then?

    Sorry team, its not quite that easy. Particulate matter is coming through those air filters, as we speak!

    To quote this Camfil article,  with outdoor air carrying 200 to 1,500 bacteria per cubic metre, an air-conditioning system with a capacity of 10,000 m3/h can potentially take in 2 to 15 million bacteria each hour and seriously contaminate food & beverage production

    Scary stuff!

    All air filters are designed to capture a percentage (important point,) of the particulate matter (i.e. dust, soot, smoke, pollen, mould, bacteria) suspended in the air passing through them.

    (And that’s making an assumption that there are no leaks around the filter holding frames or supply air ducting – letting 100% of that particulate matter through!)

    So what happens to the percentage that is not trapped in the filters?  It all passes through to the clean side of your air filters and travels on through the components of your ventilation system, eventually finding its way into your clean factory environment.

    Dirty Condenser Coil

    Dirty condenser coil

    Okay, lets be clear about this. We are only talking microscopic particles, within the acceptable air quality standards of your factory.

    However, that does not take away from the fact that this particulate matter is building up internally in your HVAC system, clogging condenser fins, creating bacteria colonies around heat exchangers and contaminating supply air duct work.

    If this accumulated foreign matter is not cleaned away and the surfaces sanitised, sooner or later it’s not hard to see that you are going to have issues with the air quality in your factory.

    So, what is the answer?

    A documented, annual hygiene cleaning schedule for your ventilation system will solve this issue for you. This will compliment the mechanical servicing and filter replacement programs you have in place currently.

    This is not usually a task undertaken by factory operators or refrigeration engineers. Look for a reliable ventilation hygiene contractor who has the correct equipment, training and experience to clean and sanitise your:

    • filter rooms
    • air plenums
    • air supply fans
    • air supply ducting
    • condenser coils
    • condenser drain trays and pipework
    • air diffuser grilles

    How often do I need to inspect and clean my Ventilation system?

    This will depend on the environment outside your factory and the standard of air quality required inside your factory. The best answer is to engage an IAQ consultant to establish this for you.

    In the meantime, as a guide, the standard BS EN 15780:2011 contains the following table for recommended inspection intervals.

    Ventilation inspection frequency chart

    Get this in place and you can rest easy that the amount of bacteria entering your factory is under control!


    About the Author.

     

    Matthew Prestidge photo

    Matthew Prestidge is an Industrial Hygiene and Clean Air consultant for Presco Environmental Services in New Zealand.  Creating more sustainable environments on industrial sites since 2006, Matthew has seen the good, the bad and the ugly and knows what is required to “clean up”.

    Matthew offers a free consultation and professional advice to the food industry for any industrial cleaning or hygiene issue.  Contact him at matthew@presco.co.nz

  • 9 Critical Steps for Correct Removal of Dirty Air Filters
    Very Dirty Air Filter!

    Very Dirty Air Filter!

    It is the time of year again for Dairy Factories to perform their winter maintenance tasks. This includes the very important replacement of any HVAC air filters that are due to be changed out.

    While this diligent attention to air quality is great, how do you make sure that when you disturb these air filters, all of the dirt and pathogens collected up in them over the last season does not become air-borne again and end up contaminating your factory?

    Even more importantly, how do you make sure the service technicians are not risking their health when handling these bacteria-ridden, allergen-inducing objects?

    Here’s some trade tips to help you do a good job of this.

    1. Protect yourself from air-borne contaminants by wearing a well-fitted respirator. Disposable P1 grade is fine.
    2. Have a bundle of 60-80 litre (or approx. 900 mm wide 1200 mm deep) heavy duty plastic bags on hand.
    3. If taking dirty filters back through food production areas, set up a ‘red-line’ and have a person working either side. The person on the ‘dirty’ side will pass the bagged dirty filter over the red-line to the person on the ‘clean’ side who will take the filter out through the plant.
    4. Ensure the air moving fan is switched off – air flow will quickly circulate any dislodged dust, sending it to exactly where you don’t want it!
    5. Remove the dirty air filter carefully, avoid jerky movements that will dislodge the dirt and make it air-borne. Sometimes the filter is stuck to a seal gasket so carefully lift this away from one corner and work your way around the filter slowly.
    6. Place the dirty filter in a plastic bag and tie off the opening or use a cable tie or packing tape to completely seal off the opening.
    7. Double bag the filter for extra protection – steel framed filters particularly can pierce one layer of plastic easily.
    8. Dispose of filters and any disposable personal protective equipment immediately in an approved waste facility.
    9. Clean and sanitise your work area after all of the dirty filters have been removed, bagged and disposed of.

    Now you are good to commence fitting the new air filters.

    If you need assistance or advice with the correct removal and disposal of old air filters, Presco Environmental Services have IAQ consultants and on-site service teams available to help you – call us on 0800 773 726 (0800 PRESCO) or email sales@presco.co.nz 

    Want more information? Contact our friendly team below:
    Get In Touch
  • DRY ICE BLASTING: THE FUTURE OF CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING

    YES YOU CAN ACHIEVE RESULTS WITH CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING

    Chemical-free cleaning sounds a bit risky, doesn’t it? We’ve all grown used to powerful solvents, alkalies and acids being used for industrial cleaning. Yet they have so many associated health risks that you’d think that in this day and age of Health and Safety compliance they’d be gone!

    The fact is, some things just can’t be cleaned without them, right? If this is how you’ve thought up until now, let me introduce you to a little secret called “Dry Ice Blasting”.

    How Dry Ice Blasting works:

    Image showing how dry ice blasting effectively removes soil from a surface

    Image showing how dry ice blasting effectively removes soil from a surface.

    Dry Ice pellets (frozen carbon dioxide pellets the size of grains of rice) are fired at the target soil via compressed air, similar to sand blasting. But unlike sandblasting, on impacting with the surface, the Dry Ice pellets instantly change from a solid into a gas (a process called sublimation) and disappear literally into thin air.

    The soil and impurities are dislodged and fall to the floor but the cleaning agent simply disappears.

    Too good to be true?  No it isn’t.  You’ve got to see it in action to believe it.  Watch a short video clip on this web page demonstrating Dry Ice cleaning

    Non-hazardous:

    Many cleaning tasks that traditionally involved use of hazardous chemicals can be now cleaned using dry ice cleaning, eliminating the chemical hazards that have caused so many acute and chronic health issues over the years.

    The cleaning agent (frozen carbon dioxide) is a naturally occurring gas, essential for plant life.  Apart from use in confined spaces, (where additional ventilation or breathing apparatus may be required,) CO2 cleaning is completely harm free.

    No chemical clean up:

     

     

     

     

    The other problem with cleaning using chemicals, is what to do with the waste?

    Used chemical cleaning solutions can’t always just be tipped down the drain, they often need to be collected up and transported to an approved disposal site.  Any used cleaning cloths are contaminated and often end up in plastic bags in the trash, adding to the landfill problem.  And then the chemical containers themselves must be triple rinsed and taken to an approved waste facility.

    Is any one actually calculating the cost of all this into their chemical cleaning program?

    Dry Ice Blasting removes all of these problems and their associated costs.

    No chemical residue:

     

     

     

     

    So what about a surface that has been cleaned with chemicals?  Even with careful rinsing, how easy is it to achieve a 100% chemical-free surface again?

    Chemical residue is a plague.  More and more we are learning about the long term effects of chemical residue on our bodies.

    If you’re involved in the food and beverage industries, chemical residue is one of the #1 enemies.

    Dry Ice Blasting effectively cleans soil from a surface and leaves zero residue.

     

    The chemical-free sanitizing effect:

    Bacteria

     

     

     

     

    Due to it’s super cold temperature, (-79˚C,) dry ice cleaning has a sanitizing effect while it is cleaning a surface.  Bacteria, mould and fungi is killed upon impact.

    And, because the cleaning process is totally dry, you further inhibit bacteria growth.

    When you clean with Dry Ice Cleaning, you’re also sanitizing.

    Read more about bacteria and pathogen control with Dry Ice Cleaning at Dry-ice blasting stops food pathogens cold By Jenni Spinner+, 06-Jun-2014

     

    Go to the next level with your organization’s sustainability goals.  Don’t just reduce your reliance on hazardous chemicals, go chemical-free with Dry Ice Cleaning

    ______________________________________________________

    About the Author.

     

    Matthew Prestidge is an Industrial Hygiene and Clean Air consultant for Presco Environmental Services in New Zealand.  Having spent the last nine years creating more sustainable environments on industrial sites, Matthew has seen the good, the bad and the ugly and knows what is required to “clean up”.  

    Do you have a cleaning challenge that Dry Ice Cleaning could solve?  Matthew offers a free consultation and professional advice on Dry Ice Cleaning for any industrial cleaning or hygiene issue.  Contact him at matthew@prescogroup.co.nz

  • DRY ICE BLASTING: #1 SUSTAINABLE CLEANING METHOD

    DRY ICE BLASTING = SUSTAINABILITY

    Recycling symbol in 3D and colour

    I don’t think I have ever seen a cleaning method as good for the environment as Dry Ice Blasting is.  Period.  Here’s why.

    Dry Ice Blasting recycles and re-uses carbon-dioxide before it is released back into the environment.

    Dry Ice is harvested carbon dioxide, a natural gas that is a by-product of many industrial processes. It is processed into a frozen blast media.  Dry Ice Blasting is taking one of the #1 waste products in the world and giving it a second useful life: chemical free cleaning. After it has been re-used to perform a cleaning task it is is released back into the atmosphere, where is was destined to end up originally.

    How good is that – a waste product getting a second life as an environmentally friendly cleaning agent!

    How is recycled carbon-dioxide used for cleaning?

    Image of dry ice pellets and scoop

    Image of dry ice pellets and scoop

    Dry Ice Blasting is a blasting process similar to sand-blasting or soda-blasting.

     

    However, the ‘media’ that Dry Ice Blasting uses to remove the soil from a surface is rice sized pellets of frozen CO2 (-78 degrees Celsius.)  These pellets are propelled towards the soil by compressed air, and on impact with the soil the Dry Ice pellets give the soil a thermal shock, causing it to go brittle and loose it’s adhesion.  Then the frozen CO2 gas instantly turns from a solid into a gas (a process called sublimation) which is like a mini-explosion as the gas rapidly expands.  This action, coupled with the kinetic energy of the Dry Ice pellets hitting the surface at the speed of sound, causes the soil to be dislodged and fall away to the ground.

    Image showing how dry ice blasting effectively removes soil from a surface

    Image showing how dry ice blasting effectively removes soil from a surface

     

    Wanting to reduce your organizations carbon footprint?

    Image of Carbon-Zero footprint graphic

    Using frozen CO2 as Dry Ice Blasting media is a “net zero” carbon foot print cleaning methodology.  It’s one of the most exciting sustainability secrets I’ve seen this decade.  Tell your friends and colleagues!

     


     

    About the Author.

    matthew3

    Matthew Prestidge is an Industrial Hygiene and Clean Air consultant for Presco Environmental Services in New Zealand.  Having spent the last nine years creating more sustainable environments on industrial sites, Matthew has seen the good, the bad and the ugly and knows what is required to “clean up”.  

    Do you have a cleaning challenge that Dry Ice Cleaning could solve?  Matthew offers a free consultation and professional advice on Dry Ice Cleaning for any industrial cleaning or hygiene issue.  Contact him at matthew@prescogroup.co.nz

     

     

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