Ecolab: Helping Keep Food Supplies Safe Through Science

Ecolab: Helping Keep Food Supplies Safe Through Science

By sharing our knowledge and expertise, Ecolab products and procedures make a positive difference in people’s lives every day

Multimedia from this Release

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 1:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Sustainability Reporting


Food safety is critical to the well-being of society. The World Health Organization estimates that around the globe, about 2.2 million people die from food and waterborne disease each year. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that contaminated equipment or environments and poor personal hygiene contribute to nearly half of the foodborne illness in the U.S. This is where we excel — leading the way in reducing contamination so safe food can be enjoyed by all.

We offer more than food safety solutions. We share our global knowledge and scientific expertise by partnering with government, industry and professional associations to advance food protection globally. Ecolab professionals like Katherine Swanson, Ph.D., are thought leaders among those dedicated to food safety. In addition to her role as vice president of Food Safety for Ecolab, Dr. Swanson serves as president of the International Association for Food Protection, is a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and a member of the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods.

Taking a Holistic View

Dr. Swanson and her Ecolab colleagues take a holistic view of food safety challenges: they don’t just invent products, they solve problems. Big problems, like fighting norovirus, the leading cause of foodborne illness in the U.S., causing more than 20 million cases of illness each year. Also known as the “cruise ship virus” or “stomach flu,” norovirus can be controlled by effective cleaning products, such as Ecolab’s TB Disinfectant Cleaner Ready-to-Use and 14 Antibacterial All Purpose Cleaner. It takes rapid action to respond to incidents, detailed procedures implemented by knowledgeable people, diligent hand washing and other proactive steps to help reduce risk.

Innovating with Sound Science

With extensive food safety knowledge, we developed a norovirus tool kit that helps customers reduce risk and prepare for potential incidents. Comprehensive training materials and detailed procedures for hand washing, food contact surface cleaning, rest room disinfection and laundry handling help customers prevent norovirus incidents.

When preventive measures aren’t enough, we help customers rapidly respond to norovirus. From prevention to response, Dr. Swanson and the entire food safety team apply expertise to critical food problems.

Stepping in with Purpose

Where there is a need to further food safety — anywhere in the world — we step in with purpose. For example, to elevate China’s food safety and public health standards, Ecolab and China Business News invited leading food processing, foodservice and food retail companies operating in China to commit to the Food Safety & Public Health Seven-Star Pact to help ensure proper food safety practices throughout the country. Twenty-five leading food industry companies committed to the pact at the 2011 Food Safety & Public Health Summit Forum in Shanghai.

“The food safety team works across divisions and geographies to deploy actionable tools and information that complement Ecolab’s innovative product offerings and help our customers to protect their businesses,” Dr. Swanson explains. “Safer foods and healthy environments are essential to sustain life.”