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Higher Consumer Demand For Raw Milk Cheese Products Leads Call For New Sanitizing Systems To Eliminate Harmful Bacteria

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla., March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Pasteurization of milk products is a known safety application to kill potentially harmful bacteria, however, with more consumers choosing more nutritious raw milk products, processors are challenged to provide products that are free of contaminates.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, raw milk cheese, for example, has sickened more than 500 people in the U.S. over the past decade.  A recent survey by the American Cheese Society found that 59 percent of cheese-makers make products with unpasteurized milk. Raw milk cheese can be sold legally nationwide -- and across state lines -- as long as it has aged 60 days.

Overall, food safety is a national concern with nearly 50 million Americans becoming ill from eating foods contaminated with salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia Coli and Staphylococcus aureus as well as mold, yeast and viruses.

Through proper handing and production, many contaminates found in raw milk products can be eliminated through a combination of plant air-purification systems with effective end-of –the-process line treatment systems to safely treat products prior to sale and consumption, according to Florida-based RGF Environmental.

Alpine Slicing & Cheese Conversion, located in Monroe, Wisconsin, installed RGF's Guardian Air in duct PHI units following an incident with a Listeria contamination.

"We had an issue with Listeria and it (the RGF installation) has helped us get past that with the security that our plant is environmentally safe," said company owner Bill Stuart.

At the Process Expo 2013 in Chicago, RGF Environmental introduced a significantly upgraded PHI Treatment System for meat and dairy processors with the introduction of a PHI Treatment Tunnel-PLUS system, which uniquely provides direct 360-degree surface application on all exposed surfaces resulting in 99.9% surface microbial reduction.

"This modular tunnel is the most effective, state-of-the-art system that I have reviewed, and for the first time processors will be able to fully treat beef, pork , poultry and dairy products, which have tough angular surfaces and ridges," said Dr. James Marsden, a national leading scientist in the field of food safety for the past 30 years.  "The PHI process does not affect the taste or appearance of the product, and the tunnel is unique in its ability to totally treat the product surface."

For a look inside the PHI treatment process, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpoplFJPvUw

Dr. Marsden, a professor of food safety and security at Kansas State University and an adviser for the North American Meat Processors Association, said the all-natural photohydroionization® (PHI) is an advanced oxidation technology that acts as an additional strategic intervention for trimmings and whole muscle. The PHI technology allows for the anti-microbial treatment of meat products without leaving chemical residues.

RGF, the U.S. patent holder for PHI-Cell® Technology, has over the last 20 years installed various surface sanitation tunnels used for meat, dairy and fruit and vegetable processors.  Considered a breakthrough in food processing technology, the stainless steel PHI tunnels are retrofitted depending on type of products being treated.  The food tunnel can provide final non-chemical, anti-microbial treatment, and protect products from human error or other cross contamination events, which may have occurred earlier during the process.

The PHI technology has been validated for control of Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as Mold, Yeast and viruses.

For more information on PHI treatment technology and RGF products, please go to www.rgffoodsanitation.com  or call 561-848-1826.

SOURCE RGF Environmental Group

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