Clean Up on Aisle 5: Antimicrobial Protection for Grocery Stores

If you’ve read our blog on microbial growth and bacteria build-up in commercial kitchens, then you already know how prone kitchen products can be to germ and microbe infection. Similarly, more companies in the grocery industry are realizing the need for antimicrobial protection in and on grocery store items, like grocery bags, shelving, food scan conveyor belts, and grocery carts.

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For as quickly as your grocery store coupon collection grows, microbes multiply and spread 10 times as fast on grocery store hotspots, like cart handles, which are touched by multiple different consumers a day.

With mistakes and oversights being inevitable, food workers in supermarket deli departments may have lapses that result in foods being contaminated with microbes from raw foods. Paired with this human error and in the absence of antimicrobial protection, inadequate cleaning and sensitization of food-contact surfaces have been commonly observed in the food service setting for decades. 

Food for Thought: Built-In Antimicrobial Protection

In a 2004 U.S. FDA report, over 58% of supermarket deli departments had values that were out of compliance for cleaning and sanitization. In such a vulnerable environment, having a presence of antimicrobial protection has immeasurable value.

Through redefining clean with Microban® antimicrobial technology, manufacturers in the food and beverage industry who supply equipment to grocery stores are able to stay in line with existing regulations, procedures, and protocols, while protecting consumers from harmful bacteria and keeping food and beverage equipment inside of grocery stores cleaner.

This same antimicrobial protection helps fight against the stain and odor causing bacteria that often leads to bigger issues. Enter listeria.

Listeria is Lurking

Stains and odors are just a small taste of what lurks in grocery store deli departments or those store surfaces with raw food contamination; Listeria is the real threat.

Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), known as ‘Listeria’, is a bacterial foodborne pathogen that causes meningitis, sepsis, and complications during pregnancy, and by current estimates has resulted in 1,600 illnesses, over 1,500 related hospitalizations, and 260 related deaths each year in the United States.

To add to the Listeria threat, a recent study across 100 kitchens saw Listeria and E.coli in 15% of the kitchens tested and at least one organism that causes foodborne illness in 50% of them. How do you like them apples?

Antimicrobial Protection for Every Aisle

Your consumers come to the grocery store to get food for their families, not to bring home listeria. Once Listeria comes into contact with a food processing or refrigeration surface, it can be difficult to completely eradicate its microbial growth.

Because Listeria is difficult to eliminate once it has infected an area, Microban works with partners to create custom antimicrobial protection for their food and beverage products before Listeria ever has a chance to start. Through in-depth testing and tailored solutions, our antimicrobial technology is added to products during the manufacturing process and is proven to fight against pathogens and bacteria, like Listeria.  

Microban SilverShield® technology is one technology that is frequently used in the food service industry that limits the survival of Listeria microbes and reduces the growth of its harmful pathogens. Our micro prevention and odor control solutions are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States and Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) in Europe for direct contact and can be incorporated into a variety of materials.

Regardless of the application, Microban works with our partners to develop customized antimicrobial protection and solutions. To learn how you can partner with Microban, reach out to us today!