Birkoside MP-2™ Effective Against Listeria on Cantaloupe Rind

March 7, 2013

HENDERSON, Colo. – The FDA’s recent announcement that it will inspect cantaloupe packing operations during the 2013 growing season has once again highlighted the need for additional ways to control pathogens on produce. Birko, a leader in providing food safety solutions for the produce industry, carries a peroxyacetic acid (PAA) based formulation, Birkoside MP-2™, that has been shown effective against Listeria on cantaloupe rind.

In addition, Birko also offers a line of sanitizers effective for controlling Listeria on food contact and environmental surfaces, including floors and drains.

In a Feb. 25 letter to the cantaloupe industry, the FDA announced it will inspect U.S. cantaloupe packinghouses, specifically targeting Listeria in an effort to assess the current practices of the industry and identify unsanitary conditions that may constitute a health risk to consumers.

“Cantaloupe growers and packers will need to ensure that their cantaloupe is free of pathogenic bacteria, including Listeria,” said Dana Johnson, Birko’s produce specialist. “Our Birkoside MP-2™ can assist in that regard, along with taking a closer look at cleaning and sanitizing practices within the facility itself.”

An October 2011 study compared the efficacy of peroxyacetic acid and sodium hypochlorite solutions for reducing Listeria on cantaloupe rind. Cantaloupes rinsed with PAA showed a 99.2% reduction in the number of Listeria bacteria, compared to a 96.6% reduction in Listeria when a sodium hypochlorite bleach rinse was used. The study was conducted by Enviro Tech Chemical Services, Modesto, Calif.

“In addition to proper sanitation and antimicrobial interventions, produce processors will also need to make sure they continue to implement a strong Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan,” Johnson said.

Birko provides HACCP consultation for fruit and vegetable processors through its HACCP-certified food safety consultants. The company provides complete in-plant cleaning, chemical and sanitation audits, as well as assistance with chemical product usage, custom equipment procurement and employee training.

About Birko

Birko is a leading provider of food safety solutions to the meat, produce and beverage industries. Birko manufactures concentrated chemical formulations used in plant cleaning and sanitation, as well as antimicrobial interventions used to reduce pathogens from the manufacturing process of food. Birko’s equipment division, Chad Equipment, LLC, designs and manufactures chemical dispensing systems and state-of-the-art washing systems as well as equipment used for food safety protection in meat processing. Chad also provides ongoing service and support for its harvesting and processing equipment. Birko’s information technology includes BirkoStats™, an online chemical usage tracking system, and the BOSS™ Blend-On-Site System, which blends high performance cleaning products on-site from custom super concentrates. Founded in 1953, Birko is a WBENC Certified Women’s Business Enterprise and was awarded Supplier of the Century by the National Meat Association.