Author: mike


6th March 2018

Listeria can pose a huge threat to human health and the food production industry. Recalled batches can damage a company’s reputation; reduce consumer trust and ultimately, death for high-risk consumers.

Increasingly, consumers are more aware of the health benefits of consuming more fresh food as opposed to highly processed options. However whilst this is of benefit to health, consuming untreated produce is a leading contributor to foodborne illnesses. There have been large numbers of recalls in recent weeks due to possible risks of contamination of Listeria monocytogenes. The FDA website lists the recalled products and these instances have led to a greater understanding and acceptance of the need for more efficient pathogen control strategies.

The microorganism’s adaptations have enabled it to persist without the need for a host. As such, it may exist in decaying plant material or fresh water ecosystems, but this is currently not wholly understood. From these locations, it’s possible for the microorganism to enter the food processing environment and subsequently enter packing plants following harvest. As 16% of listeriosis cases are fatal, this is clearly something to be addressed.

Inadequate cleaning and sanitation of equipment at a packing plant for cantaloupes (in 2011, USA) was linked to post-harvest contamination of the produce, as the pathogen had not been isolated from field samples. The article states that there were 147 cases and 33 deaths associated with this outbreak, as such, it remains the largest listeriosis outbreak on record.

The processing and packing stage is associated with the highest risk for contamination of fresh produce. This presents an opportunity for prevention and control measures. Dycem contamination control flooring has helped to eliminate the growth and spread of Listeria in critical food production areas by up to 99.9%.

An example of this was when Dycem provided a two-toned flooring solution to Rikshospitalet kitchen, a company who provide meals to Oslo’s largest hospital. The flooring solution was two-toned, highlighting a clean and dirty side, indicating to employees where outdoor and indoor apparel must be worn. In such a busy environment, it was integral that precautions were undertaken in order to minimise microbial counts and contamination to food.

Discover how Dycem can help you.

Dycem’s Two-Tone Systems

6th March 2018

Dycem’s two-tone systems have proven extremely popular way to inhibit contamination growth for our customers as a way of improving their Standard Operating procedures, making a two-tone system an ideal solution for sites with heavy traffic, and strict auditing bodies.

Could your site benefit from a two-tone system?

• Simple workflow areas identified by colour coded Dycem, ideal for clean rooms, gowning areas and heavy traffic areas.

• Easy to keep clean, and highlights how well Dycem is working at retaining dust and dirt.

• Improved awareness from your staff that they are entering a critical access point.

• Identifiable by auditing standards as part of a well maintained health and safety standard

• A full traffic light system can be used to identify different area classifications.

The two-tone is effective in almost every application, whether you use a cleanroom, air shower or a wet cleaning system.

At  Micronit, Netherlands, A two-tone system was created and installed wall-to-wall in the facility’s changing booth, to ensure that the Z-Effect traffic flow was safely contained.

”I had been looking at Dycem for a number of years”, says Tom Hassing, COO of Micronit Microfluidic, “and due to demand, it was well worth the wait.”  Micronit now has a sustainable system for their contamination control needs for three years or more.

Other examples of a two-tone system have included up to 5 different Dycem colours being selected to improve Standard Operating Procedures.

If you would like to discuss our two-tone options, contact your local representative or for general enquiries.


6th March 2018

We have all heard of the term pasteurisation but do you know where that term comes from, and the processes involved in pasteurisation? Did you know the huge impact that it had on the wine industry, which it effectively saved?

The father of the process for whom the term was coined is also credited with other remarkable feats such as saving the silk industry in France and helping to eliminate diphtheria.

So who was the man who has effected forever the way we produce food and beverages?

By the time Pasteur was approached by Napoleon III, he has already paved a road into microbiology, starting his career at the University of Strasbourg in Chemistry.

The wine industry in France was facing great setbacks as their produce, which was world renowned and sought  after, would deteriorate during transportation and eventually spoil. Napoleon III asked Pasteur to look into the issue, after becoming notorious due to his ‘Germ Theories’ which were at the time thought to be extremely controversial.

“In a series of careful experiments, Pasteur discovered that heating wine to 55 degrees killed bacteria without ruining the taste. This process, later named pasteurisation, saved the wine industry, and cemented Pasteur’s fame. Today, it’s widely used to keep food free from disease.”, Louis Pasteur: The man who led the fight against germs.

Pasteur was well known across France at this point due to his extensive works.

A disease was rife across the silk industry that affected the silk worms themselves and he was asked to look into what had baffled so many others. Along with his wife Marie, Pasteur realised that the issue was in fact a parasite that caused infection in the insects and went on to teach industry workers that infected worms should be extracted from the rest and destroyed.

“His advice meant the silk industry survived, providing another boost to France’s economy.”

However, the brilliant career of the Father of Microbiology was not always reflected in his health and personal life.

At 45 he suffered from a stroke which left him partially paralyzed and of his 5 children only two would make it into adulthood.

Perhaps these tragedies made him more determined in his work; one of his daughters died in 1859 of Typhoid, which is caused by contaminated food and water.

After his stoke he continued to work from a laboratory that was set up for him by his colleagues, determined to continue his great discoveries. If “family tragedy framed his fight against illness” his resolve to work helped achieve his final victory. Pasteur is quoted as saying “the only thing that can bring joy is work”, a reflection of his devastating personal loses and his will to overcome them.

Read the full article here at

Since his outstanding work, our understanding of germ theory and microbiology has continued to flourish, and nowadays there are many unique and innovative ways to control and reduce bacterial growth and contamination.  Join the conversation – #germtheory  

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