From the threat of E. coli in romaine lettuce to the risk of Salmonella in dried coconut, food recalls are a regular occurrence in today’s world. Recalls due to contamination can cause staggering damage – from loss of income to loss of life.
According to recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 48 million people in the U.S. (1 in 6) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne disease.1 Food contamination is a significant public health burden that is generally preventable if the proper steps are taken to protect the food supply.
Foodborne Illness and the FSMA
Foodborne illness is not simply the result of consuming undercooked meat or unwashed raw vegetables. Contamination can occur at any point along the food production chain – during production, processing, distribution or preparation. In fact, one of the largest outbreaks of Salmonella in the U.S. was the result of contamination in the supply chain. In 1994, more than 220,000 people were infected with salmonellosis after consuming contaminated ice cream. It was determined that the outbreak was caused by contamination of the pasteurized ice cream being transported in a truck that had previously hauled non-pasteurized liquid eggs and had not been properly washed between hauls.2 Unfortunately, even today many food recalls are triggered by oversights in supply chain procedures.
Recognizing that ensuring the safety of the food supply is a shared responsibility among many different points in the global supply chain, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently enacted the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This act was designed to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply by shifting attention from contamination events response to prevention measures that protect the public and ensure that food is unadulterated. The FSMA has seven foundational rules, including the rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal food. The goal of this rule is to prevent practices during transportation that create food safety risks, such as failure to properly refrigerate food, inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads, and failure to properly protect food.
The New Standard of Clean
As standards for food transport equipment and supplies continue to evolve, incorporation of technology into equipment designs that meet or exceed legislative mandates will be key.
In an effort to provide an innovative solution to comply with FSMA regulations, Great Dane and Microban International have partnered to provide Microban antimicrobial product protection exclusively in Great Dane’s Everest reefers and Alpine refrigerated truck bodies. Microban technology is built into the reefer liners during manufacturing so it will not wash off or wear away and helps provide ongoing protection of the liner against the growth of bacteria that can cause stains, odors and product degradation.
On an unprotected surface, bacteria can double in number every 20 minutes, making it more challenging to effectively clean surfaces and equipment. Bacteria growth in a refrigerated trailer or truck body carrying temperature-sensitive goods can damage the trailer itself and impact the cleanliness of the environment. However, when Microban’s carefully-developed and tested antimicrobial agents are built in to the trailer lining during the manufacturing process, microbial reproduction is inhibited throughout the equipment’s useful lifetime. The technology works on a cellular level to disrupt and prevent the replication of bacteria that cause stains and odors.
Tests conducted with stain- and odor-causing bacteria show that the bioburden in a treated liner is greatly reduced versus that of an untreated liner. This proven antimicrobial technology helps support requirements under the FSMA by keeping reefer liners cleaner and promoting a clean environment for temperature-sensitive deliveries.
A Premium Partnership
As the transportation solutions leader, Great Dane chooses to partner with only the best suppliers – and Microban is the best in its field. Microban is the global leader in built-in antimicrobial, odor control and surface modification technologies. Its proactive systems keep products cleaner and control odors by preventing problems and damaging microbial growth before they start.
Great Dane’s commitment to safety and dependability drove its decision to offer Microban antimicrobial liners as standard in all Everest reefers. Great Dane’s Everest reefers and Alpine truck bodies are the only products on the market to feature Microban technology in the liner to help protect against harmful bacteria for the entire life of the equipment.
The inclusion of Microban technology in Great Dane reefer liners provides customers with a competitive edge in the market, while also helping them to meet the stringent requirements under the FSMA by providing cleaner food storage and transport equipment.
 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2018, May 16). Retrieved from FDA.gov: https://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/fsma/default.htm
 A National Outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis Infections from Ice Cream. (1996, May 16). Retrieved from New England Journal of Medicine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199605163342001