It has been notified that on May 18, if the infections continue to decrease, it could be the useful date for the reopening of the food sector, obviously, in the midst of thousand restrictions and requirements. These notification also includes the sanitation of the premises.

About getting close to the Phase 2 of the Coronavirus emergency, it has been studied the possible strategies to be adopted to secure the activities and allow the restart of commercial activities.

Among the first hypotheses of intervention emerged is to ensure social distance even through transparent walls in restaurants and, in the myriad of articles and personal considerations on the subject of plexiglass barriers, for restaurateurs many changes are announced. it is pointed out that between one table and another, for example, there will be at least 2 meters away, the waiters will have masks and gloves. Customers will be three feet away from the bar waiting for coffee. It is clear that bars and restaurants will be able to guarantee fewer places for customers, in addition to having to pay attention to compliance with the rules.

Sanitize with ozone. This can be an alternative to plexiglass?

It has been mentioned  the O3 or the ozone and it has been done while the general guidelines are being implemented that will address the category of restoration in the coming months of emergency. The ozone has virucida and bactericidal function as evidenced by the Ministry of Health in the circular of No. 24482 of 31/07/1996.

In Italy the Ministry of Health has recognized the system of sanitization with ozone as a natural protection for the sterilization of environments contaminated by bacteria, viruses, spores and infested by mites and insects. Since 2001 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), an organism of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, has classified ozone as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), which is safe for human health, and has liberalized its use as an antimicrobial agent in food production processes. Moreover, neither the taste nor the appearance of food is altered by ozonization (Violle et al 1929; Kuorianoff 1953; Kiem et al. 1999).

Ozone is characterized by a high reactivity, a high oxidizing power and the fact of being unstable at room temperature. Due to its considerable oxidizing capacity, it is able, damaging membranes and cell walls, to clean air and water from mold, yeast, bacteria (Khadre et al., 2001), spores and viruses. As far as viruses are concerned, specifically, we are talking about inactivation. This means that the action of the ozone would consist in an oxidation and consequent inactivation, of the specific viral receptors used for the creation of the bond with the cell wall to be invaded. In this way the mechanism of viral reproduction is blocked at the level of its first phase: cell invasion. The virus is not destroyed, but rendered powerless. The predominant characteristic of ozone is that in standard atmospheric conditions it is in the gas phase, which already favors its use in numerous applications in the hygienic-food field. Unlike classical disinfectants (for example chlorine) which release polluting residues, ozone decomposes to oxygen, which could be beneficial for both the environment and health, avoiding side effects.

How to sanitize with ozone

Ozone is a gaseous substance that, in order to be effective, must have a concentration that varies depending on the size of the environments and with treatments of varying duration depending on the goal of sanitization. Ozone is a powerful antiviral: its percentage inactivation of viruses is 99.99%. This is true for all viruses, indistinctly, even if it does not yet apply in an official and specific way to our SARS-COV-2. On which SARS-COV-2, being new, new COV-2, specific studies have not yet been carried out, as the International Ozone Association rightly points out. So analysis of options but maximum caution as usual: we are in the presence of a profoundly new reality.

Ozone is not produced and marketed, but is prepared at the time by the use of devices called ozone generators that convert the oxygen of the air into ozone by electric discharges. It is notified that in the food chain is already used to ensure the hygiene of processing in all its stages and is used as an anti-microbial agent finding numerous applications in the agri-food industry. At present ozone in the food field is used for the surface decontamination of products such as meat, poultry, eggs, fish, fruit, vegetables and spices, but also for the disinfection of water and surfaces intended for contact with food.

Sanitization with ozone. How can it be advantageous?

The use of ozone can be advantageous not only from the economic point of view if we consider that the costs for the purchase and maintenance of the supply units, authorized by the Government to a tax deduction of 50% on the tax credit, are lower than the cost of supply of disinfectant products. It must above all be said that the advantages are unequivocal on the environmental impact, on the timing of rapid use and on the resources used in a sanitization treatment. Ozone has also acted in depth (in carpets, tents, etc.) its effect continues to  “preserve” the environment, also because the change of air is not performed with infected air but with normal air, Ozone, however, continues its action of keeping inside tissues, curtains, etc.

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