Ozone Purfresh Food Safety and the Corona Virus
Keeping Food Safe During the Coronavirus:
Purfresh’s Ozone Technology Mitigates Virus Contamination
Today we are living in a world of “new norms,” with social distancing, working from home, closed schools, and hand sanitizer shortages. All of these efforts are coronavirus risk mitigation tools. Health officials also encourage us to eat healthy and build our immune systems. But how can we be sure that the food we’re eating, particularly fruits and produce, are safe and virus-free?
At Purfresh, we’re using ozone systems on imported ocean container cargos to mitigate the spread of this and other viruses, and to protect the food we eat. In fact, the Purfresh ozone system is the only solution proven effective to minimize decay, control ripening, and enhance food safety without the use of chemicals. Certified for use with organic produce and approved by the USDA and the FDA, ozone acts as a powerful, residue-free disinfectant that immediately reverts to oxygen, leaving the product’s natural taste, texture, and smell intact.
You may know Purfresh for providing ocean container, controlled atmosphere and ozone atmosphere systems that allow many types of fruits and produce to be transported long distances by sea and delivered to the consumer with high quality and taste. Our systems extend the shelf life of fruits and produce by increasing CO2, decreasing O2, and by adding O3 (ozone) to the container air environment. By changing the characteristics of the air environment, Purfresh delays ripening, maintains firmness, preserves the original harvested taste, and cleans the surfaces of the fruits, produce, and containers of bacteria, yeast, and molds.
What many people do not know is that Purfresh technology also mitigates virus contamination by adding our ozone distribution capabilities as a food-safety-enhancement application into the fresh cargo global supply chain. Ozone has been scientifically proven to kill pathogens, including E.coli, salmonella, and listeria. Keeping the fruit surfaces clean also reduces decay and extends shelf life. Ozone, with the correct volume amount and contact time, reduces surface levels of viruses by 99.9%, including coronaviruses.
Studies Show Ozone Kills Coronaviruses
As the world grapples with stopping the spread of COVID-19, studies are being conducted on ozone and its ability to destroy the current coronavirus:
- “Ozone gas has been proven to kill the SARS coronavirus and since the structure of the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus is almost identical to that of the SARS coronavirus, it is relatively safe to say that it will also work on the new coronavirus, though it must be noted that there is only one current ongoing study in China at the Institute of Virology in Hubei with regards to this. Progress of that study has shown that it works. Additionally, there are more than 17 scientific studies that show Ozone gas is able to destroy the SARS coronavirus.”
Some of the key concerns about the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus is that the rate and types of transmission paths for this virus are extremely dangerous. According to a new study from the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists, published on March 17, 2020 NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects.
How Ozone Works
For years, growers and shippers tried to protect their cargo with traditional controlled or modified atmosphere systems, fungicides, and temperature recorders. But these systems lacked vital capabilities. They could not reduce decay, reduce pathogens, control ripening, and enhance food safety simultaneously. They could also not be monitored in real time and the reefer conditions could not be adjusted en route. Scientifically engineered, the Purfresh system enhances the atmosphere inside the container with an active form of oxygen—commonly referred to as ozone—to control molds, yeasts, ethylene, Salmonella, E. coli, listeria and other contaminants in the air and on surfaces. Because it uses oxygen from the air, Purfresh is able to continuously generate ozone throughout the transportation of the food products.
Purfresh offers high-power, high-volume ozone generators, with fully automated, remote ozone control and level sensing, making it a top choice to help reduce the risks associated with viruses like the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, along with bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Small ozone air filters, and battery operated mini-ozone generators, purchased online, simply do not offer proven efficacy when it comes to protecting against microbial contamination.
Ozone’s Use in Global Trade
We frequently hear about dangerous foodborne contaminations with transported fruit and produce, like E. coli, salmonella and listeria. Along with these challenges, countries have different regulations on how food is processed and when multiple countries are involved, it becomes difficult to guarantee safety. When farms send produce to a shared, central packhouse, produce can also become contaminated. On top of that, a shipping container can be a source of contamination, as you may not know what was in the container before your produce. Ozone reduces the threat of foodborne illness as it sterilizes the container and cargo, prevents cross contamination and can decrease the risk of many types of surface-borne food pathogen by as much as 99% in as few as 5-7 days. Our cloud-based Intellipur remote control and visibility systems also manage all required human safety issues, an important factor when producing ozone.
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is the top priority for businesses and governments around the world. Purfresh wants to do its part to ensure the food we eat is healthy, safe and tastes great. If you would like to start using Purfresh, please ask your local ocean carrier container booking office or contact us directly.
Christian DeBlasio – Purfresh President & CEO