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Since the signing of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law in 2011, food safety has quickly risen to the forefront in the food and agriculture industries and its regulations are affecting organizations it never has before.
Each year in the United States alone, it is estimated that more than 48 million people in the U.S. (1 in 6) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a significant public health burden that is largely preventable.
The cost in lost wages, insurance claims and medical bills amounts to between $7.7 and $23 billion a year. The medical community and the food industry is becoming increasingly concerned because some microbes have demonstrated resistance to current methods of food preparation and storage, and to antibiotics.
TOMI has partnered with two large international clients to tackle the increasing demand and new legislation to better protect our food supply and distribution networks from the ever increasing resistant microbial organisms. TOMI is committed to expanding this critical division to better address the growing need to protect our food supply around the globe.
Chlorine based sanitizers are the traditional postharvest method. Many studies have demonstrated that a chlorine wash only achieves a 1-2 log reduction of pathogens and may react with certain organic compounds to form potentially carcinogenic byproducts.
In July 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) approved the inclusion of Salmonella on TOMI’s label. Additionally, research has been conducted at the USDA on listeria which demonstrates that SteraMist has efficacy on most bacteria and viruses that cause food-borne illness and disease. Smooth surfaces of tomatoes, spinach leaves, and cantaloupe rinds, inoculated with Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, and Listeria innocua, were treated using SteraMist.
Research showed reduced populations of bacteria on the smooth surface of tomatoes to non-detectable levels (detection limit 0.6 log CFU/fruit). In addition, the SteraMist™ treatments also significantly reduced populations of native aerobic plate count, and yeasts and mold of tomato fruits and spinach leaves.
Earlier that same year, a peer review article on food safety was published in “The International Journal of Food Microbiology.” The paper demonstrated that cold plasma-activated hydrogen peroxide aerosol inactivates Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Listeria while maintaining the quality of tomatoes, spinach and cantaloupes. SteraMist technology achieved a greater log kill with quicker results than chlorine based solutions.
TOMI continues to work with the USDA and other partners on more exciting research by using its state of the art, innovative iHP technology to protect the soil, seeds, hatcheries, eggs, manufacturing, slaughter, packing facilities and the safe transportation and/or production.
Whether it is disinfecting the soil, seeds, hatcheries, eggs, manufacturing, slaughter and packing facilities to insuring the safe transportation of our food chain by installing SteraMist in the transportation vehicles TOMI is ready. And when food is delivered to the end user TOMI has a solution to help maintain and preserve food safety by injecting our EPA solution into the environment of the storage facility, display cases and vegetable bins TOMI aid in the disinfection of vegetables, meats, eggs, poultry, fish and fresh flowers will directly lower formation of food-borne contamination leading to illnesses.