DISCOUNTER LEADING THE WAY IN HYGIENE AND CROSS CONTAMINATION PREVENTION

 
LEFT: a pipe with Parx technologies after 12 months in a refrigerator drain system. RIGHT: a standard pipe after 6 months in the same system.

LEFT: a pipe with Parx technologies after 12 months in a refrigerator drain system.
RIGHT: a standard pipe after 6 months in the same system.

Hygiene is an important priority for supermarkets. On the one hand it is to guarantee food safety on the shop floor and on the other hand, the consumer is becoming increasingly critical. Certainly, when it comes to hygiene and safety. A clean supermarket contributes to a positive consumer experience.

Prevent clogging in drainage systems

Aldi US store fitted with Alco Designs shelf liners with Parx technology for the poultry and fresh meat division.

Aldi US store fitted with Alco Designs shelf liners with Parx technology for the poultry and fresh meat division.

An important area in the supermarket is the refrigerator section. The Parx technology has already been thoroughly tested in drainage systems of freezers and refrigerators in supermarkets in the UK. Supermarket refrigeration display cabinets globally suffer from a build of bacteria known as Pseudomonas. This type of bacteria is known for its self-produced mucus that latch onto the internal surfaces of the waste water drainage pipes where they continue to grow and generate larger forms of biofilms and slime, which eventually results in clogged drain pipes. Over a period of time the buildup is so severe that it causes a full blockage of the drainage pipe, results in water leaks, maintenance issues, service call-outs and possible outbreaks of pathogens. Tests taking as long as 12 to 14 months showed that integrating the Parx technologies in these drainage systems created a sustainable anti-clogging solution that can reduce call-outs by up to 100% over a period of time, saving supermarket chains a lot of costs and disruption involved with blocked drains. Keeping the freezers and refrigerator drain systems cleaner and more hygienic in a sustainable way, replacing the use of harmful chemicals.

Keep the shelves clean

Keeping the rest of the freezer or refrigerator clean is something that many supermarkets have laid out in a periodic cleaning scheme. These areas are notorious for collecting food particles and should be cleaned out regularly. To make this task easier supermarkets are fitting shelf-liners into their refrigerators. These shelf liners are covering the entire shelf and are often interlocking to fully cover the shelf surface. They are easy to remove and have collected all the dirt build-up since the previous cleaning. This means by taking out the shelf liner you do not need to reach to the end of the freezer and a manageable component can easily be cleaned and washed off outside of the system. This makes it much easier to clean the shelves, so it can be done easier, quicker and more regularly.

Shelfliners (interlocking) produced with the aid of Parx technologies, made by Alco Designs, Gardena, California, USA.

Shelfliners (interlocking) produced with the aid of Parx technologies, made by Alco Designs, Gardena, California, USA.

Preventing adherent cells

Leading the way to guarantee the utmost hygiene, Aldi in USA has been implementing shelf liners produced with the aid of the Parx Plastics technologies. These technologies are integrated in the manufacturing process of the extruded sheets and have the ability to prevent adhesion of biofilm and bacteria. The technology is creating a surface with a build-in defense mechanism against adherent cells, making sure the surfaces stay cleaner for longer.

Innovative technology

The Parx technologies originally are derived from nature. It was developed in an effort to copy the human immune system which greatly relies on trace elements. Incorporating a trace element into polymers, with an innovative method, delivers unique characteristics mimicking the characteristics of the human skin. The technology was recognized in its early stages by the European Commission, marking the company as one of the top tech startups of Europe. The technology was also picked up in the USA as an innovation with the likely long-term significance, receiving a World Technology Award in the materials category.

By adopting this technology, the (originally European) discounter is taking a leading position with its stores in the US. By adopting a shelf liner system with the Parx technologies build-in, it has selected the cleanest and safest solution there is available today. Securing the utmost hygiene in their stores.

Reducing cross-contamination

Back in 2011 UK food standards officials discovered that 40% of packets of chicken in a range of supermarkets, convenience stores and butchers were covered with bacteria on the outside. Of 20 packets of chicken studied, eight had food poisoning bacteria on their wrapping. Findings like this drive an increasing amount of attention to cross-contamination. There are fears that once handled in a supermarket, the bacteria can be passed on through trolley handles, shopping bags and transferred to other foods.

Making sure that cross-contamination from one package to the shelf to another package is restrained, means going the extra mile for the utmost food safety.

Hygiene determines the image of the supermarket and a clean shop floor contributes to a welcoming appearance. And experience today is the key word, where good hygiene is indispensable. Shops who visibly pay attention to hygiene raise the consumers’ confidence and that trust is essential for a good customer relationship.


What are the benefits of a more hygienic surface?

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