The COVID-19 pandemic is making the grocery industry take a different look at how it is going to protect customers and employees. Sentry Foods in Delafield, Wisconsin, and Neu-Tech Energy Solutions, an LED lighting supplier, are working together to install bacteria-killing blue lights and UVC light fixtures that disinfect both bacteria and viruses – including the coronavirus – in their store.
Most know to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, but there’s one place germs are hiding that we can’t easily control: the grocery store. You share shopping carts with strangers and pick up unwrapped produce that’s been inspected by dozens of unseen hands. According to insider.com, overall, 75 percent of the grocery carts swab tested at each of the 100 stores tested positive for a bacteria type known as “gram-negative rods,” which are harmful to humans. Other tests have shown that one of the worst places to find bacteria in a grocery store is the fridge doors. Tests have shown that fridge doors have 1,235 times more bacteria than the surface of your cell phone.
This particular Sentry Foods store is using UV lights to disinfect its shopping carts of bacteria and viruses. Because UV lights can be harmful to eyes and skin, the lights are on timers and only work at night when no one is around. Today’s UV lights have remote starts, timers and motions sensors to make them safer to use.
Focused blue lights in a specific wavelength have been proven to kill a wide range of bacteria including MRSA, staph, strep listeria and salmonella. Stores use blue lights to disinfect bathrooms, check outs, meat and produce departments where there is an issue with listeria and salmonella.
“It’s a new day and protecting customers and employees is very important for this store,” said Dave Klumb, lighting engineer at Neu-Tech.
Neu-Tech has been in the LED lighting business for more than 10 years and has been developing new bacteria and virus disinfecting lights for more than four years. To learn more, visit turnontheblue.com.