Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 57

immune system and prevent or lessen the severity of illnesses, Herald
said. Also, having signs to promote produce washing before eating
demonstrates that retailers care about customers and encourage good
food safety practices.

Pandemic impact
COVID-19 and has exposed the urgent need for a higher level of expert
sanitation across the food processing industry, said Jake Watts, vice
president of food safety for PSSI.
That goes for the flu as well as the coronavirus.
To protect the quality of products and, more importantly, the health
and wellbeing of employees and the integrity of customers' brands,
PSSI's documented 8-Steps of Sanitation and microbial hazard mitigation
processes is proven to effectively work across all surfaces, Watts said.
That includes the integration of exclusive products like PSSI's Packers
Chemical Innovations PURE Hard Surface sanitizer and Microbarrier Elite™
to build a scientifically validated program proven to protect surfaces.
" Our holistic approach was validated through a challenge study
conducted in a certified, third-party testing lab, " Watts said. " The goal of
the study was to provide verification that PSSI's sanitation and microbial
hazard mitigation measures are effectively removing SARS-CoV-2 from
non-production areas within a food facility. "
The company's testing showed SARS-CoV-2 was not found on hightouch-point surfaces in common areas of the food facility, proving
PSSI's approach was effective.
In addition, PSSI's seal of Validated PSSI Protection is designed to
give frontline employees the confidence in knowing they are protected,
Watts said.
" All᩿viruses᩿have the potential to᩿live᩿on hard surfaces and can be
treated the same with proper sanitation and mitigation efforts, " he said.
Beyond implementing it 8 Steps of Sanitation Process, PSSI has
created additional safety protocols in communal areas, such as
decontaminating high-touch surfaces, in an effort to keep its own
employees safe - the same safeguards provided its customers.
" We have taken additional steps like ensuring that hand sanitizer is
available at all entrances, exits, and transition points within facilities
in addition to continuing to implement more stringent policies, such
as requiring facial coverings and social distancing in the workplace, "
Watts said.

A lot of it comes down to
common sense, but that doesn't
make it easy to follow through on.
" We've observed that
many companies struggle to
consistently implement COVID19 protocols. The flu is likely to
be the same, especially with the
'COVID fatigue' that people are
starting to experience. "
That same advice holds true for

suppliers and distributors, though
implementation may vary slightly,
Herald said. If there's a large
amount of absenteeism due to the
flu or COVID-19, it may affect the
suppliers' or distributors' ability to
get products to supermarkets.
" Flu season doesn't give anyone
an excuse to let up on these
preventive practices, " Herald said.
" It's important to get a flu vaccine,

Becasue of the
coronavirus,
many retailers and
suppliers have a head
start on preparing
for flu season.

and continue hand hygiene, social
distancing, wearing masks and
surface disinfection. "
Employees and customers may
be becoming complacent to the
COVID-10 prevention practices
and signage, which makes flu
prevention and awareness a bigger
challenge this year. Stores can
also change or update signage for
prevention practices and retrain

supermarketperimeter.com

employees about flu and COVID19 prevention. The responses for
COVID-19 and the flu have a lot of
overlap, so preventive actions will
be effective against both viruses.
It's vital to maintain the COVID-19
protocols as well, such as masks,
which is COVID-specific. Steritech
provides assessments that help
grocers identify safety risks and
operational challenges.
DECEMBER 2020 - 57


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Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020

Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 1
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