Ozone and the Food Sanitation Process

When you think of “ozone,” you may think of the layer in the stratosphere that blocks most ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The term also refers to a substance that can further your wellness.

As a highly reactive oxidizing agent, ozone is used to deodorize air, purify water and treat industrial wastes. It is remarkably effective in applications such as food processing and cleaning and sanitizing equipment.

According to Produce Safety & Security International Inc., a food safety company, ozone is extremely effective in killing microorganisms because it oxidizes their cell membranes, killing a broader variety of potential pathogens than chlorine. The agent has no negative environmental impact because it easily and quickly degrades into oxygen.

In June 2001, the Food and Drug Administration granted “Generally Recognized As Safe” status to ozone for use in food-contact applications. A few days later, the FDA published a final ruling approving ozone as an additive to kill food-borne pathogens. This authorization opened the floodgates for food processors to begin using ozone in their plants.

Today, ozone technology is steadily replacing conventional sanitation techniques, such as chlorine, steam and hot water. Used in the processing of meat, poultry, seafood and produce, the technology is recognized as one of the safest, most cost-effective and chemical-free ways to keep food safe. Many food processors say the main benefit of using ozone is that it extends the shelf life of their products – an asset that’s important in the competitive international food industry.

Produce Safety & Security International Inc. uses ozone technology in its environmentally safe food sanitation systems, including industrial misting systems, which pressurize the room with a fog to reach in and around all equipment and pipes, subsequently killing all the bacteria that bonds mold to the surface.

The company also offers sanitation processes such as knife-washing systems that sanitize personal cutting equipment and commercial ozone systems, high-output ozone generators that maximize the surface contact between ozone and water in food processing plants.