Efficacy of hand washing beeswax food wrap in household use
Keywords:Food wrap, Beeswax wrap, Cross contamination, Dishwashing, Food safety
Background: Over the years, many reusable products have been invented to replace single-use disposable items to reduce waste. One of such products is the reusable beeswax food wrap, which aims to replace plastic film wraps to store food. According to manufacturer instructions, the beeswax wrap can only be washed with cold water and detergent. This presents the question whether the beeswax wrap can be effectively cleaned, as continuous reuse may present cross contamination issues. This study examines if manufacturer instructions is effective in cleaning the beeswax wrap. Methods: ATP analysis was used to determine the level of cleanliness on the beeswax wrap between the pre-intervention and post-intervention treatments. Pre-intervention samples are the new beeswax wraps. Post- intervention samples are wraps that have been contaminated with avocado, washed, and dried. ATP counts (RLU) were measured with Hygiena SystemSURE Plus ATP monitoring system. Paired T-Test was done on NCSS to analyze the results. Results: The mean of the pre-intervention group was measured at 8 RLU, which is considered clean under the Hygiena standard. The mean for the post-intervention group was measured at 67 RLU, which is considered a fail on cleanliness under the Hygiena standard. This shows that the manufacturer instructions on washing the beeswax wrap does not effectively clean the beeswax wrap. Statistical analysis show p-value is 0.000, therefore one can conclude there is a statistically significance difference in the mean ATP count between pre-intervention and post-intervention beeswax wrap samples. Conclusion: Results show that some food residue remained on the wrap after washing. This means manufacturer instructions cannot effectively clean beeswax wrap. Therefore, it is recommended that manufactures should put a label on their packaging to let their customers know that the wrap can’t be thoroughly cleaned, and certain foods should be avoided for its use. During its use, the wraps should be labeled for the specific category of food it is used for. BCCDC can also use this result to add into the reusable container guideline.
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