Lights out for falsely advertised UV disinfectant devices

Two marketers of ultraviolet light “disinfectant” devices have agreed to stop making claims that their devices can wipe out foot fungus and dangerous bacteria like MRSA, E. coli, and Salmonella in order to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission charges alleging they engaged in false and unsubstantiated advertising.

shUVeeThe settlements impose judgments of $656,423 and $629,359, against Angel Sales, Inc. and its principals and Zadro Health Solutions, Inc., respectively. Based on their ability to pay, the Angel Sales judgment is suspended and the Zadro Health Solutions’ judgment is partially suspended upon payment of $222,029 for consumer refunds. In each case, the full judgment will become due immediately if defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

“The defendants said their devices’ UV rays would kill dangerous microorganisms, but they didn’t have scientific evidence to back that up,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “I’m pleased that the FTC’s action has put an end to these deceptive claims.”

UV equipment brought in to kill off crypto

Water bosses are bringing in ultra violet ray equipment to help kill off cryptosporidium in the water supply which has affected over 300,000 Lancashire residents.

United Utilities is to use the portable UV rigs at three sites on the Fylde which it says should make a difference and help kill off cryptosporidium. The equipment, which consists of powerful fluorescent UV lights shining in a tank through which water passes, will be used on water leaving the Warbreck, Weeton and Westby service reservoir outlets.

The UV C rays attack the DNA of the parasite killing it rapidly. It also works on other potentially harmful microbes such as e-coli. John Butcher, UU’s regional supplies manager, said: “Cryoptosporidium is very vulnerable to this UV C light. The normal treatment process at Franklaw deals with it and the water coming out of there is clear, but we have brought this in to deal with the water now going through the system.”

Gary Dixon UU’s customer services director said they had identified a possible source for the contamination but had to wait for the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s official report.

Blueberries and bugs: Can UV light help?

Ultraviolet light (UV) has antimicrobial effects, but the shadowing effect has limited its application.

blueberriesIn this study, a novel setup using UV processing in agitated water was developed to inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on blueberries.

Blueberries were dip- or spot-inoculated with E. coli or Salmonella. Blueberries inoculated with E. coli were treated for 2 to 10 min with UV directly (dry UV) or immersed in agitated water during UV treatment (wet UV). E. coli was most easily killed on spot-inoculated blueberries with a 5.2-log reduction after 10-min wet UV treatment. Dip-inoculated blueberries were the most difficult to be decontaminated with only 1.6-log reduction after 10-min wet UV treatment.

Wet UV treatment generally showed higher efficacies than dry UV treatment, achieving an average of 1.4 log more reduction for spot-inoculated blueberries. For dip-inoculated blueberries, chlorine washing and UV treatments were less effective, achieving <2 log reductions of E. coli. Thus, the efficacy of combinations of wet UV with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), levulinic acid, or chlorine was evaluated. Inoculated blueberries were UV-treated while being immersed in agitated water containing 100 ppm SDS, 0.5% levulinic acid or 10 ppm chlorine.

The 3 chemicals did not significantly enhance the wet UV treatment. Findings of this study suggest that UV treatment could be used as an alternative to chlorine washing for blueberries and potentially for other fresh produce.

Practical Application

A novel UV light system for decontamination of blueberries in water was developed and evaluated. Results demonstrated that the decontamination efficacy of this system was generally as effective as chlorine washing, indicating that it could potentially be used as an alternative to chlorine washing for blueberries and other fresh produce.

Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica on blueberries in water using ultraviolet light

Journal of Food Science, 80: M1532–M1537

Liu, C., Huang, Y. and Chen, H.

Best Western goes high-tech to clean

When I think Best Western, I think free wi-fi.

Maybe I should be thinking, cleaner rooms.

There’s a certain snobbery about hotel rooms similar to restaurants: dives are dirty, fancy ones are clean.

Decades of restaurant inspection data show bacteria and other bugs don’t discriminate; they’re equal-opportunity contaminants. Data from hotels is starting to show the same (don’t let the bed bugs bite).

The best thing about Best Western is they’re marketing cleanliness. Just like food providers should be doing.

USA Today reports Best Western Hotels, in response to what it says is travelers’ insistence on cleanliness, is equipping its housekeeping crews with black lights to detect biological matter otherwise unseen by the human eye, and ultraviolet light wands to zap it.

For possibly the dirtiest object in your room — the TV remote control — there will be disposable wraps.

Best Western says it’s taking the steps partly because research from Booz & Company shows that travelers desire a hotel’s cleanliness over customer service, style and design.

But it’s also reacting to the times, in which hotels and supermarkets place hand sanitizer in visible places for germ-obsessed customers (Australia, you paying attention yet?).

People also have become more skeptical about cleanliness because of headlines about E. coli, norovirus and bird flu, says Ron Pohl, a Best Western vice president.