Birko Blog

As a leader in food safety, Birko is at the forefront of industry research and trends. Fighting resident foodborne pathogens, developing plant sanitation solutions, sanitary design of custom equipment, and precision chemical blending. In this space, our experts share their insights on these and other timely topics.

Problematic Draught Line Cleaning

beer tap

Caustic (sodium hydroxide, NaOH, and potassium hydroxide, KOH) cleaners are typically used to clean draught (tap) lines, with acid cleaning taking a back seat and only used as needed to tackle calcium oxalate (beer stone) issues. The Brewers Association recently published the Fourth Edition of the Draught Beer Quality Manual (DBQM) and can be found online at The DBQM recommends cleaning draught lines with caustic every 14 days to keep the lines in good shape. For most beers, this works just fine. But what happens when a non-standard beer is put on a draught line and then ends-up flavoring a… Read More

Hot Liquor Tank Cleaning using Birko’s Ac Tec 100

hot liquor tank

Making beer requires the use of a lot of hot water, and the vessel that holds hot water until it is ready to be used for brewing or cleaning is called the Hot Liquor Tank. The hot water in the Hot Liquor Tank typically comes from the heat exchanger, which cools the wort before fermentation. Over time, The Hot Liquor Tank may scale-up with hard water deposits and rust. And despite the need for regular cleaning, the Hot Liquor Tank may be one of the most neglected tanks in the brewery. One of the most commonly asked questions I receive… Read More

Seek and Destroy | How Environmental Monitoring Helps Ready-to-Eat Processors Stop Food Contamination in its Tracks

environmental monitoring for food safety birko

A ready-to-eat (RTE) food processing facility with a strong food safety plan will start by implementing principles of sanitary design and follow up with documented procedures for cleaning and sanitation. But, how can you be confident that your plant is properly mitigating contamination risks, such as Listeria and other bacterial concerns, on a continual basis? How do you know for certain that your facility’s food safety plan is effective?

Witness the Future of Food Safety at IPPE 2019 in Atlanta

IPPE birko 2019

Atlanta may have hosted the Super Bowl this year, but the big event for meat and poultry processors around the world takes place in the city a little later this month. The International Production and Processing Expo, better known as IPPE, is once again held at the Georgia World Congress Center, February 12 – 14. More than 30,000 people attend this show, and Birko is excited to be an active participant in 2019. That includes our sponsorship of the annual Food Safety Council Meeting, during which Birko has the privilege of delivering opening remarks. IPPE focuses on innovations in the… Read More

Cyclospora and Foodborne Illness

veggie tray sanitation

With Cyclospora back in the news, due to an outbreak related to fresh veggie trays that has sickened 185 and hospitalized 7, it’s time to provide a refresher on: What is Cyclospora, where does it come from and how can we prevent it from causing disease? Cyclospora, or Cyclospora cayetanensis, is a protozoan parasite that causes a gastrointestinal illness, Cyclosporiasis. Infected individuals can display a range of symptoms that range from having no clinical symptoms of disease (asymptomatic infection) to severe diarrhea resulting in dehydration and weight loss. Other less common symptoms can include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, cramping, fatigue, body… Read More