SHAMA, G., 2007. UV disinfection in the food industry. Controlled Environments Magazine, 10 (4), pp. 10-15
As more of the food that we consume is subject to some form of processing, a growing
onus is being placed on the food industry to ensure that the food they produce is safe to
eat. Recent tends in certain sectors of the food industry towards the centralisation of
production towards a smaller number of increasingly large food processing facilities will
have important implications for food safety. Such conditions enable a single incidence of
food contamination at a facility from which food is distributed over a wide geographical
area to potentially affect a large proportion of the population.
Microbiological food safety implies the inactivation or removal of pathogenic
microorganisms associated with foods. This can of course be achieved in a number of
ways, but increasingly the use of chemical agents is becoming subject to ever tighter
legislative control. This is in part a reflection of growing public anxieties about the
possible harmful effects of such agents when ingested. Largely as a result of such
concerns, interest is being shown in alternative, so-called ‘physical treatments’. The use
of ultraviolet light (UV) falls within this category.
This article deals with microbiological food safety and its assurance through the use of