The COVID-19 pandemic shut down life as we knew it around the globe, but even in times of international crisis, people still need to eat. Panic-buying emptied grocery store shelves and consumers struggled with how to nourish their families safely. Delivery or in-person shopping? Should they wipe down everything? Should they quarantine food? Is it safe to eat at restaurants? Will job losses and tightened budgets make it too difficult to get the nutritious food they need to stay healthy?
One thing remains clear: Consumer standards for food safety have been permanently elevated.
Consumers aren’t willing to give grace to food suppliers when it comes to safety, even with global supply chain issues. Food must be safe and accessible, free of pathogens and other avoidable contamination.
Expectations are particularly high when it comes to produce and poultry. Outbreaks and recalls in these categories dominate headlines and catalyze fear in consumers who are tired of worrying about health and safety. And it’s not just about grocery stores. Michael Sperber, an executive at global safety certification company UL says: "The pandemic brought cleanliness in the foodservice industry into the spotlight. Consumers are now paying more attention to a restaurant's sanitation and food safety practices than ever before."
A growing number of advocacy groups have formalized the call for increased safety standards. A recent letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called for action in poultry safety standards, and was signed by food safety leaders, foodborne illness survivors, poultry industry leaders, and other groups.
What’s the solution?
The entire world is focused on washing and sanitization, and the food industry is no exception. There’s an increasing demand for cleaning solutions that meet elevated consumer and regulatory standards and deliver outcomes without holding up the supply chain or making end products prohibitively expensive.
The right solutions start with the right ingredients. BASF is a leader in chemical formulations that blend unparalleled power with an impressive safety profile and an overall commitment to sustainability.
BASF’s food safety portfolio includes several products that meet and exceed the pandemic-driven increase in standards.
One stand-out example: Disponsil® DB. Disponsil DB is an antimicrobial adjuvant that is widely used in hard surface cleaning formulas. In addition, it’s approved for:
- Beef, pork – wash during butchering
- Poultry wash – whole carcasses
- Poultry wash – eviscerated carcasses
- Fruits and vegetable wash
It follows FDA regulatory GRN 237 and USDA FSIS Directive 7120.1, allowing for its use on food. Data confirms improved efficacy against food-borne bacteria when paired with Peracetic Acid (PAA). It shows significant impact on salmonella, e. coli, and listeria. No rinsing is required on produce, making it an efficient part of a formulation designed for a fast-paced environment.
BASF also offers food processors a broad range of emulsifiers that satisfy a variety of food application requirements, including Kosher-Certified emulsifiers that meet the highest Kosher standards. BASF emulsifiers are available for use in an array of applications such as solubilizers, flavoring components, and thickening agents. All BASF emulsifiers are produced with thorough attention to quality and consistency in the world’s most advanced facilities.
Expectations and regulatory standards are only going to get higher. Food processors that thrive in – not just survive – a climate of high demand and elevated standards will be those that embrace high-quality ingredients with ease of use plus proven safety and efficacy.
BASF is a leader in chemicals for a wide range of industries, including food safety. Learn more about our emulsifiers, washes, and our entire portfolio of innovative solutions.