by Eric Moore, Director of Food Safety & Industry Relations, Testo North America
Having spent my career primarily focused on controlling food safety risks, I have tended to not dive too far into the complexities of facility engineering controls outside those directly related to mechanical refrigeration.
However; with more and more cross-functional collaboration occurring to combat the spread of SaRS-CoV2/COVID-19, I recently took some time to learn about some great research and science based recommendations developed by an organization called the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Over the past weeks and months there has a plethora of information provided on mitigation strategies to help limit the spread of and exposure to SARS-CoV2/COVID-19. Some of this information (albeit vague) has been on airflow, and how bringing in more outside air into a facility can be useful. The most widespread examples are to increase ventilation or open windows and doors. While this may be an appropriate recommendation for non-food related businesses, it’s not realistic for food manufacturing and foodservice. Many restaurants may be doing this with the best intentions, but it creates additional challenges that can have adverse impacts to the safety of food in the establishment.