Sanitation Innovation: The Rise of Foaming Probiotic Cleaners

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If your company processes or manufactures food, chances are that your facility produces fragrant waste. These byproducts tend to be stored in broad areas which can be attractive to all kinds of pests. It can be challenging to find an effective treatment solution for these areas because they often harbor large amounts of organic waste.

A particularly useful option gaining traction across the industry is the use of probiotic cleaners. Also known as “biological cleaners” or “bio-remediation,” these cleaning agents utilize beneficial Bacillus bacteria to digest undesirable organic materials—including fats, oils, grease and more—all while leaving behind just water and mineral ash.

Significant buildups of organic materials are usually found on waste chutes or receptacles, or spillage on the ground near entrances. Probiotic cleaners offer an effective method of dealing with these “trouble” spots, since they can be distributed over large areas indoors or out. Applications can be made in a matter of minutes via spray equipment, including hand applicators, power washers or battery-powered backpack sprayers. Plus, these products usually have a fresh citrus odor, which repels pests and makes your facility more pleasant for humans at the same time.

Probiotic cleaners aren’t exactly “new,” but many industry professionals are just now learning how well broadcast applications can work. Though similar bacteria have been used for years in other products, recent advancements in formulation and quality have led to variations in delivery methods and foaming characteristics.

Probiotic cleaners are also remarkably safe to use, as they have no toxicity or direct pesticidal activity. In fact, the National Science Foundation (NSF) allows them for use in inedible product processing areas, non-processing areas and exteriors of food processing plants.

While they are both safe and effective, it’s important to understand that probiotic cleaners are mainly intended for the cruder sorts of organic material removal, not food processing equipment or food contact surfaces. Keep in mind that these areas should still be washed, rinsed and sanitized as necessary.

It’s also crucial to remember that no one cleaning tool or method is enough to maintain standards for an entire facility. That’s why every company should have an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program in place. IPM methodology uses all available tools and techniques to eliminate pests and maintain acceptably low pest population levels. Probiotic cleaners are simply one piece of an effective IPM program, reducing attractive odors and food sources for pests.

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