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Visualization of cleaning effects in health care and food production

Reducing infections in e.g. healthcare and food production will give socioeconomic benefits. Cleaning is important and is often done manually making it difficult to determine if it is enough. Standards to measure cleanliness is lacking. We develop an analytical method to provide a picture of the microbiological content on a surface after cleaning.

Aim and goal

The project's goal is to develop a measurement method for studying dirt and microflora on surfaces to visualize the effects of cleaning methods and routines. The measurement method is intended to provide quick feedback to the user of the cleaning products and increase the motivation to clean efficiently. In addition, routines for the cleaning and effects of implementing some interventions are mapped into two case studies in hospitals and food production.

Challenge

There are major socio-economic benefits to reduce the spread of pathogenic viruses and microorganisms in homes, public environments, health care and food production. Here cleansing is crucial to prevent infection spread.

A large part of the cleaning is manual work, and it is often difficult for the person to decide whether the cleaning is enough. In addition, often there are no standards for measuring what is clean enough.

Solution

A good method for measuring the purity and presence of microorganisms, which provides quick feedback on the cleaning efficiency of the operator, would provide more efficient cleaning. In addition to this, the possibility of evaluating the types of microorganisms present on the surface and how they vary over time would be valuable to, for example, be able to see if a change in routines affects the levels and types of microorganisms., and thereby reduce infection spread.

In the project, flow cytometry (FC) is evaluated as a quick analysis method to get an overview of the composition and levels of microflora on surfaces. The method is used today for routine analysis of drinking water production and promising studies also show that the analysis can be automated, and the equipment miniaturized to be used directly by cleaning staff or operator.

Effect

Measuring cleaning efficiency faster and more efficiently, as well as an opportunity to evaluate the types of microorganisms present on surfaces in the patient room is an important part of patient safety work. In the food industry, this information allows for increased food safety and improved hygiene, resulting in less recalls and food waste.


Summary

Project name

Analysis method to visualize cleanliness

Status

Active

Area

Infection control, Chemical and biological analysis, Food, Microbiological safety, Preventive healthcare, Service innovation

RISE role in project

Project manager

Project start

Duration

2,5 år

Partner

Landstinget i Värmland

Funders

Bo Rydins foundation for scientific research

The UN sustainable development goals

Good health and well-being
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities

Coordinators

Project members

Charlotta Löfström

Contact person

Charlotta Löfström

Forskare

+46 10 516 67 30
charlotta.lofstrom@ri.se

Read more about Charlotta

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