Huron farm first food supplier to use air purification system in hopes of reducing COVID-19 spread

Updated: Apr. 27, 2020 at 2:48 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The Chef’s Garden, which ships their produce all over the world, is implementing a different technology to hopefully provide an extra layer of protection for their workforce and their product.

Even though restaurants aren’t operating as usual, the family-run Huron farm has to keep growing so that when dining rooms are able to open back up, chefs have something to cook.

Restaurants may not be open as usual, but the farms who supply them can't shut down. Things take time to grow. The...

Posted by Jen Picciano on Monday, April 27, 2020

They worked with Extreme Microbial Technologies to install an ionized air purification system at their headquarters where product is packaged and shipped, hoping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This technology filters air and purifies surfaces, injecting ions of hydrogen peroxide, attacking viruses.

“We wanted to try and protect our team to make sure that no body got sick or spread this virus while they were at work. By treating the entire air space that everyone is working in, and product packaged in, we felt like this was a really good step for us to take,” Chef’s Garden CEO Bob Jones said.

It’s already being used in hospitals and doctors offices, but they’re the first ones to be using it around fresh produce.

“When we talk about best practices on food safety, this technology I believe very strongly, is going to become best practice. We had an opportunity to get in on it ahead of time to protect our team and our partners that buy our product,” said Jones.

It’s not been scientifically validated yet to be effective specifically against the Coronavirus, but it has been scientifically proven effective against other viruses like MRSA and H1N1.

“This is all about risk reduction,” said Jones.

The data regarding COVID-19 is pending.

The Chefs Garden has been testing air samples since they installed this at the beginning of the month and they’ve been pleased with the results, now other producers and farmers are looking in to this same technology moving forward.

“Eating fresh vegetables shouldn’t be dangerous. This is one of those things we can do on our end, our corner of the world, to protect the folks who are eating the fresh product that we are growing and selling,” said Jones.

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