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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Food Safety Solutions

General

What food safety products and services does Birko offer?

Birko offers more than 400 chemical products, including cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants for food and beverage processors. We offer antimicrobial intervention products or pathogen reduction treatments suitable for direct application to food; processing chemistries for trolley cleaning and lubrication; tripe washing and scalds and more. As an integrated food safety partner, Birko also provides innovative food safety equipment, including automated and customized solutions, safety training, and resources for overcoming the food safety challenges facing food and beverage processors today.

Which industries does Birko serve?

We help food processors in produce and fresh cut, poultry, further processing, meat and protein harvest as well as breweries and distilleries. Browse industries here.

Why should I choose Birko as my food safety solutions provider?

As a third-generation family-owned company, we have a long history of working with leading food processors to ensure their products and facilities remain safe and pathogen-free. With an expert team of scientists, engineers and HACCP and FSMA trained food safety professionals behind all of our innovations, Birko is more than a chemical vendor. We’re a fully integrated food safety solutions provider built on turning great science into valuable products so you can help protect your plant and ultimately, the food chain. Learn more about the Birko Advantage, our history, and our patented products and equipment.

Should I bundle my food sanitation and labor services?

With the proper vendors, bundling food sanitation labor and chemicals can provide a number of benefits, but to truly know that you’re getting what you’ve paid for, you’ll want to do your research. Learn about the importance of transparency in contract sanitation.

Does Birko provide any training for sanitation workers?

Yes, Birko provides on-site training in food sanitation as well as food safety training videos. Contact us to access these videos or request an in-person training.

How do I know if I’m meeting regulations for my HAACP, Produce or Preventative Controls Rule program?

Designating a qualified food safety professional manager, ensuring thorough documentation and evaluating the food safety equipment in your plant are all valuable first steps. Get in touch with Birko for more advice on meeting food safety standards and learn how you can prepare for third party audits and FDA inspections.

Does Birko offer in-plant consultations for food safety solutions?

Yes, our food safety experts are happy to visit your plant and conduct a food safety audit, assist in determining where pathogens may be hiding and help identify where you could be saving money and resources. Birko customers receive on going scheduled technical support for process innovation and food safety. Contact us to learn more.

How can I cut back on chemical and water use in my food processing plant?

Reducing water and chemical usage without compromising food safety is a major challenge for many plants. Birko offers multiple options to help. Optimizing you sanitation processes and  auditing your plant for where you might be overusing water or chemicals and considering automated food intervention equipment are all viable ways to start. Check out our free, exclusive e-book on overcoming these challenges or follow us on the blog for more information.

COVID-19 and Food Safety

Where can I get food-grade sanitizing solutions approved for efficacy against COVID-19?

The EPA issued a list of Antimicrobial Products for use against Novel Coronavirus SARS-COV-2 under its Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticides Program. Birko can currently supply several antimicrobial products and disinfectants for preventing the spread of COVID-19. View our list of EPA-approved products.

Does Birko offer hand sanitizer for food processing plants or other products for protecting my workers against COVID-19?

Yes, Birko offers several powerful handwashing and sanitizing solutions for food processing facilities and breweries. With multiple applications and containing CHG, our Big Red hand soap followed by an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the go-to hand care solution for many of our customers. View hand soaps, sanitizers and other solutions from Birko that protect against COVID-19.

Can COVID-19 spread on food surfaces?

There is no evidence that the virus responsible for COVID-19 poses a food safety risk or that it can be transmitted between persons through food. Current CDC, FDA and USDA recommendations focus on preventing person-to-person spread with thorough hand washing practices and proper cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces. To help protect your facility against the spread of COVID-19, we’ve created the Mobile Mister, a portable system that uses non-toxic Peraspray sanitizer to reduce pathogens and viruses on surfaces. Read more.

Where are the “hotspots” in my food processing plant where COVID-19 may be spread?

While keeping production areas sanitized is important, it’s also essential to cover non- production and common areas like locker rooms, break rooms and time tracking stations. Birko offers a full line of solutions to make sure employees are protected in all areas of your facility, from quat-based cleaners to fogging units and automatic boot scrubbers.

Food Safety Solutions for Poultry

What poultry cleaning equipment is best for eliminating pathogens on products?

Birko’s patented Precision Application Technology the Elite 360® applies antimicrobial treatments more efficiently to control pathogens on poultry products by delivering 360-degree coverage and 90-100 percent transfer efficiency. Learn more about Birko’s Elite 360® for poultry processing.

Does Birko offer any egg washing solutions or products?

Yes, Birko supplies egg wash and sanitizing products for egg producers. Contact us for more information about our egg washing chemical products.

Brew Sanitation Products

What brewery cleaners work best for removing beerstone and scale?

Birko has several beerstone removing acids. The one that will work best for you depends on the amount of beerstone to be removed and the type of equipment you have in your brewery. Contact us to learn more.

Is citric or nitric acid passivation a better method for passivation in stainless-steal brewing equipment?

Nitric acid is the traditional method for passivation of stainless-steel brewing equipment but can be fairly dangerous and hard on gaskets. Citric acid helps prevent against rust but doesn’t add a lasting passivation layer for the metal. That’s why Birko developed a proprietary method of passivating metal. Contact us for insights on passivation in your facility.

Produce Processing

What produce antimicrobials are best?

Birko’s industry-leading line of antimicrobial chemistries for produce processing can effectively fight Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and other foodborne pathogens in produce, protecting the food chain and helping you avoid product recalls.

Does Birko sell Organic Certified Sanitizers?

Yes, Birko supplies products that are approved for use in organic processing. Our experts can act as a guide in helping you obtain organic certification while maintaining the highest standards of food safety.

Can Birko help me comply with FSMA’s Produce Safety and Preventive Controls?

From providing EPA-registered products to auditing your facility, Birko can act as a partner in helping you meet FSMA or other food safety regulations. Contact us today for details.

What more can I be doing to protect my produce processing plant against Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli?

Developing a robust seek and destroy program, consulting experts in environmental monitoring and using industry-leading chemistries are ways to start. Get in touch with Birko for solutions tailored to your products or for an in-plant consultation.

Meat and Protein Processing

How can I reduce water and chemical usage at my meat processing plant without sacrificing food safety?

Automated solutions such as Birko by Lagafors®, Birko’s Head and Tongue Wash, and the Elite 360® help food processors reduce chemical and water waste by applying the right concentration of products at the right pressure and at the right time. View equipment that reduces water and chemical use in meat harvesting.

Does Birko provide any sanitation labor for meat processors?

In select regions, Birko partners with IES sanitation to provide integrated chemical and labor services. Contact your local sales representative to learn whether your facility is in a covered area.

Further Processing

What is the best way to protect processed products against Listeria?

There are a variety of measures you can take to prevent Listeria from thriving in your facility, from adding entryway foamers and boot washers to your plant to installing automated chemical dispensing systems. Browse solutions for the further processing industry, read about developing a seek and destroy program or contact Birko for more information or an in-plant consultation.

Can Birko’s Elite 360® be used for beef products?

Yes, in addition to poultry, pork, and other meat products, the Elite 360® also works effectively for beef. It uses electrostatics to apply antimicrobials to beef trim prior to grind, achieving 360-degree coverage and reducing pathogens in ground beef products.