What’s in the microbial slime – and how do you
remove it safely from commercial refrigeration?
The slime or jelly-like build-up in the refrigeration condensate tray is an exopolysaccharide excreted by bacteria, and it harbours a whole ecosystem of microbes. Conventional deep-cleaning by pressure-washing will not remove the biofilm – or the germs – found.
Find out why:
The slimy build-up that clogs the condensate tray and condensate drain is called exopolysaccharide – and because it’s formed of long chains of molecules, it’s not soluble in water. Even if physical pressure washing and suction get the condensate tray looking clean, there’s still a thin layer of film invisible to the human eye.
That’s a real problem, because the polysaccharide layer creates a safe environment where billions of organisms can still thrive – and it protects them from the cleaning action of disinfectants.
BEFORE the microbes can really be cleaned away, you need to attack those long polysaccharide chains – breaking up the biofilm through hydrolysis, so it can be removed and the germs themselves are exposed.
You can do this easily with an application of Drain Safe (Stage 1 of 3-step process)
Independent tests by the University of Surrey – on real biofilm samples from a variety of supermarket chiller cabinets – found 10 different strains of microbe.
Out of those, included are number of biocide-resistant species like Staphylococcus. Biofilm itself has been proven to increase bugs’ resistance to biocide agents by more than 500% – and to enable species to pass resistance on to other strains.
This means any effective solution would need a combination of effective biocides – to ensure any resistant strains are wiped out, while also countering fungi and algae alongside the bacteria. It’s not just dirt, it’s potential disease.
The samples tested were all from cabinets that were subject to an annual deep-clean programme. Even after thorough HVAC deep cleaning, microbes can repopulate the chiller cabinet in as little as two weeks, unless they’re stopped!