(Oct. 30, 1:58 p.m.) Malvern, Pa.-based Sterilox Food Safety marked the annual Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2008 by unveiling the Sterilox Food Safety System Model 2200, the newest version of the company’s water sanitizing equipment, and by announcing that Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., had agreed to purchase Sterilox equipment for all of its retail stores.

The compact Sterilox unit uses salt, water and electricity to generate an environmentally friendly sanitizing solution, said Geoff Koontz, director of marketing for Sterilox Food Safety, a division of PureCore, Stafford, England.

“Soaking fresh produce in the solution for 10 minutes helps prevent cross contamination of pathogens and, in the case of leafy greens, rehydrates the vegetables, which lengthens shelf life,” Koontz said. “The produce also will stay fresh longer after purchase.”

The solution does not affect plastics, so sleeved produce may be soaked in the solution, he said. In addition to combating bacteria, the solution knocks down spoilage from yeast and molds, Koontz said.

The Model 2200 is plug-and-play equipment and features a manual dispensing system for use in floral buckets, Koontz said. The unit is designed for use behind the scenes, but doses of the sanitizing solution may be introduced to a produce department’s misting line.

“The cases stay cleaner longer reducing labor costs, and product stays fresher longer, so retailers see a reduction in shrinkage,” Koontz said. “The labor savings and the reduction in shrinkage pay for the unit.”

He declined to reveal the price of the units, but said the quality and freshness of perishable products produce a measurable return on investment.

Installation of the Sterilox Food Safety Systems in Safeway stores began earlier this year. The new order from Safeway will put the systems in all of the retailer’s U.S. and Canadian stores by the end of 2009, Koontz said.

Using the Sterilox equipment offers retail and foodservice a safe and natural protection against cross contamination, he said. The equipment also may be used in seafood and bakery departments and with floral displays, Koontz said.

PMA 2008: Safeway chooses Sterilox for food safety
The new Sterilox Food Safety System Model 2200 uses salt, water and electricity to generate an environmentally friendly sanitizing solution for use in combating bacteria on perishable foods and extending product shelf life, says Geoff Koontz, director of marketing for Sterilox Food Safety.