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AUVS’ ‘The UV Box’ Named Among Best Infection Prevention Products
for 2nd Consecutive Year
National – For the second consecutive year The UV Box from Advanced Ultraviolet Systems (AUVS) has been named to Newsweek’s list of Best Infection Prevention Products. First named on the 2020 list, the 2021 recognition is also the second consecutive year that The UV Box is the only Germicidal Enclosure so honored.
Compiled by Newsweek in association with The Leapfrog Group, an independent non-profit organization that evaluates healthcare quality, the list is based on nominations by actual hospital users.
Each product is evaluated based on:
Safety (for patients and healthcare workers)
Successful real-world implementation
Health Workers Warn Loosening Mask Advice in Hospitals Would Harm Patients and Providers
September 18, 2023 - (KFF Health News)
Nurses, researchers, and workplace safety officers worry new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might reduce protection against the coronavirus and other airborne pathogens in hospitals.
A CDC advisory committee has been updating its 2007 standards for infection control in hospitals this year. Many health care professionals and scientists expressed outrage after the group released a draft of its proposals in June.
The draft controversially concluded that N95 face masks are equivalent to looser, surgical face masks in certain settings — and that doctors and nurses need to wear only surgical masks when treating patients infected by “common, endemic” viruses, like those that cause the seasonal flu.
A pathogen’s mode of spreading isn’t affected by how common it is; common viruses can still harm vulnerable populations; and many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, can travel significant distances on microscopic droplets suspended in the air.
“Large COVID outbreaks in prisons and long-term health care facilities have demonstrated that the behavior of infectious aerosols is not easily classified, and these aerosols are not easily confined,” wrote the deputy chief of health at Cal/OSHA, Eric Berg.
CDC’S review of scaling back on N95 masks could have repercussions on emergency stockpiles, rendering doctors and nurses as vulnerable as they were in 2020 when mask shortages fueled infections. More than 3,600 health workers died in the first year of the pandemic in the United States.
CDC expects 'tripledemic' hospitalizations
Sept 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday it expects the total number of hospitalizations from COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus infections and flu this year to be similar to last year, higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The government health agency also said it expects flu and RSV infections to increase over the fall and winter seasons.
Vaccines for all three major respiratory viruses – COVID-19, flu, and RSV – will be available this fall, the CDC said.
Higher levels of vaccination across the population will help reduce the number of hospitalizations and risk of straining the country's hospitals, CDC added.
The CDC on Tuesday signed off on the broad use of updated COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer (PFE.N) and partner BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) as well as Moderna (MRNA.O) - covering ages 6 months and upward - as the country prepares to start a vaccination campaign within days.
Update from AMA: Eris and Pirola COVID variants,
plus CDC flesh-eating bacteria warning update
September 6, 2023 - AMA Vice President of Science, Medicine and Public Health Andrea Garcia, JD, MPH, analyzes the increase in COVID hospitalizations and shares the latest news.
Here are a few key takeaways from the interview:
Andrea Garcia said, "we've nearly an 87% increase over the past month in COVID hospitalizations". The CDC reported, based on some modeling forecasts, that it expects anywhere from 1,700 to 9,700 daily COVID hospital admissions by the end of September.
EG.5, or Eris, is continuing to spread quickly. And as a reminder, EG.5 became that dominant variant here in the U.S. in August. It has been classified as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization. But, according to the New York Times, experts believe that EG.5 does not pose a serius threat.
Pirola or BA.2.86. It's also spreading and it's now tied to about 29 cases worldwide. However, experts expect that is likely an undercount. In the U.S., it's now identified in five states, so Michigan, New York, Virginia, as well as Ohio and Texas.
And scientists continue to be a little more concerned about this one, even though that case count is still very low. And that's because there are so many mutations, and many of them are in the spike protein.
The species of Vibrio, that is the subject of this particular alert is known to cause life-threatening infections. And these cases are usually the result of being exposed to bacteria in warm coastal waters where it thrives. But the infection can also be obtained through contact with contaminated shellfish, such as oysters. Several East Coast states including Connecticut, New York, North Carolina have reported severe and fatal V.vulnificus infections.
CDC Assesses Risk From BA.2.86, Highly Mutated COVID-19 Variant
August 30, 2023 - According to a published brief from JAMA Network today, updated COVID-19 vaccines targeting the XBB.1.5 variant are expected to be effective against BA.2.86—a highly mutated new SARS-CoV-2 variant—for reducing severe disease and hospitalization, according to an August 23rd, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) risk assessment.
The BA.2.86 variant has more than 35 genetic differences from XBB.1.5, the dominant variant through most of this year. This genetic leap “is roughly of the same magnitude” as seen between the initial Omicron variant and the Delta variant, the CDC said.
The agency’s assessment noted that compared with other recent circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, the new variant may be more capable of causing breakthrough infections in people who were previously infected or vaccinated. But the limited number of cases means it’s too soon to know whether it causes more severe COVID-19 or is more transmissible than other variants, the CDC said.
COVID infection risk rises the longer you are exposed
— even for vaccinated people
Rigorous evidence shows that significant contact with a person with SARS-CoV-2 is more likely to lead to transmission than a short encounter.
August 30, 2023 - The Jama Network published a US cohort study showing that hospital-onset SARS-CoV-2 infection rates were lower among hospitals (with greater than 50% of hospitalizations) tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection at admission.
In the initial COVID-19 wave, hospitals located in the US followed stringent infection control and prevention measures and increased personal protective equipment (PPE) usage (e.g., masking for patients and staff members, SARS-CoV-2 testing for asymptomatic individuals, and N95 respirator and eye protector usage) to curtail SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Based on the study findings, increased SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and COVID-19 prevention efforts are required to decrease in-hospital SARS-CoV-2 transmission, especially in the case of high COVID-19 incidence in the community.
COVID hospitalizations climb 24% this week in a two week period
August 28, 2023 - Hospitalizations have increased 24 percent in a two-week period ending Aug. 12, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wastewater monitoring suggests a recent rise in Covid infections in the West and Northeast. In communities across the United States, outbreaks have occurred in recent weeks at preschools, summer camps and office buildings.
COVID hospitalizations climb 22% this week — and the CDC predicts further increases as new variants spread
August 24, 2023 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now forecasting an acceleration in new COVID-19 hospitalizations over the coming month, the agency this week, replacing a previous projection that admissions would "remain stable or have an uncertain trend."
The CDC said in a risk assessment published Wednesday, updated vaccines
are expected to "be effective at reducing severe disease and hospitalization" from BA.2.86. But the strain's large number of mutations could also pose new challenges for immunity from prior infections and vaccinations, the agency warns.
It comes as health officials are racing to study a new called BA.2.86, nicknamed "Pirola" on social media, that has begun to emerge around the world.
As our planet warms, scientists worry about infections
July 18, 2023 -According to US World New & Report, Diseases old and new are becoming more prevalent and even cropping up in places they’ve never been found before. Researchers have begun piecing together a patchwork of evidence that illuminates the formidable threat climate-driven diseases currently pose to human health — and the scope of the dangers to come.
Research shows more than half of all the pathogens known to cause disease in humans can be made worse by climate change.
New mechanism discovered for rapid evolution
of multi-drug resistant infections in patients
July 12, 2023 - A research study led by the University of Oxford provides a transformational new insight into how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) emerges in patients with bacterial infections.
The study's findings challenge the traditional view that people are generally infected by a single genetic clone (or 'strain') of pathogenic bacteria, and that resistance to antibiotic treatment evolves because of natural selection for new genetic mutations that occur during the infection. The results suggest that instead patients are commonly co-infected by multiple pathogen clones, with resistance emerging as a result of selection for pre-existing resistant clones, rather than new mutations.
According to the researchers, the findings suggest that interventions aimed at limiting the spread of bacteria between patients (such as improved sanitation and infection control measures) may be a more effective intervention to combat AMR than interventions that aim to prevent new resistance mutations arising during infection, such as drugs that decrease the bacterial mutation rate. This is likely to be especially important in settings where the infection rate is high, such as patients with compromised immunity.
Comorbid CDI Leads to Worse Outcomes
in Patients With COVID-19
June 26, 2023 - The American Journal of Managed Care, (AJMC) reported that Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) increases the risk of in-hospital mortality and complications among patients with COVID-19, according to a new report.
The authors of the study, published in Infectious Disease Reports, wrote that health care providers need to be aware of the risks associated with concurrent COVID-19 and CDI because COVID-19 has entered an endemic phase and CDI rates increased after the start of the pandemic.
A US bill is reintroduced to become
less dependent on PPE overseas production
Washington - Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-08), along with representatives Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-GA), Darren Soto (D-FL), and Carol Miller (R-WV), reintroduced a bill for America's national security, to make the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain less dependent on China and other foreign adversaries.
The legislation incentivizes the domestic manufacturing of drugs, API, PPE, and diagnostics to make the U.S. supply chain less dependent on foreign adversaries like China.
The U.S. is dependent on other countries for personal protective equipment (PPE), with approximately 95 percent of surgical masks and 70 percent of tighter-fitting respirators, such as N95 masks, being made overseas.
Prepare for next pandemic, future pathogens
with "even deadlier potential" than COVID
Geneva, May, 23, 2023 - The head of the World Health Organization urged countries across the globe to prepare for the next pandemic, warning that future health emergencies could be even worse than the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDC : 3 Reasons for Concern about C.auris
Contagion. June 6, 2023 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists 3 reasons for concern about the yeast, as follows:
It is often multidrug resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods and can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
It has caused outbreaks in health care settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C auris in a hospitalized patient so health care facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.3
Cases have been identified in a variety of patients, from infants to elderly patients, and closing the gaps in understanding what makes certain patients more vulnerable is desperately needed to get a leg up on this growing infectious disease threat. Understanding these aspects of the fungal infection is critical given that early data have revealed a case fatality rate of 30% to 60%.
CDC Discusses Candida auris:
Strategies to Help Control and Prevent Outbreaks
Infection Control Today, Published on May 5, 2023 - This is the fourth and final installment on the CDC's interview with the ICT.
There are several things that would help with control of C.Auris.
How C.auris may spread in the environment
April 13, 2023 - In this article the potential pathways through which C.auris can be introduced in the natural environment are introduced and the characteristics that can influence it's survival are examined.
A recently recognized phenonmenon for the transport of human pathogens in the environment is their ability to attach and persist on plastic. C.auris can colonise and persist on plastic surfaces in healthcare settings for more than 28 days. Therefore the ability of C.auris to disseminate within the environment could be a novel transport mechanism for spreading the pathogen. Further research is recommended.
Addressing Infection Prevention
for Candida auris
March 30, 2023 - Meghan Lyman, MD, medical officer, Mycotic Diseases Branch, CDC, and her colleagues coauthored a study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The CDC’s recent warning of the rising incidence rates of the fungal infection is cause for concern, but understanding which patients and settings are at a higher risk is equally as important. The lead author in the CDC’s recent C auris study offers some insights for both medical institutions and the general public.
Everything you need to know about the potentially deadly fungus spreading in the US
March 22, 2023 - Dr. Scott Roberts, associate medical director of infection prevention at Yale School of Medicine, told ABC News that C. auris can spread either from person-to-person transmission or by people coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.
"This spreads person to person and we do not think of really any other fungus as spreading person to person in a meaningful way," he said. "And it's really hard to kill.
Widespread person-to-person outbreaks of
Hepatitis A across the United States
As of January 6, 2023, 37 states have publicly reported 44,768 cases, 27,332 hospitalizations and 421 deaths of Hepatitis A.
In the United States, Hepatitis A is more commonly spread from person to person by eating, drinking or touching something contaminated.
Looking at Reimbursement Economics of CDI in Healthcare Systems
January, 11, 2023 - A recent study points to the costs associated with CDI and hospitalizations. The average per patient per hospitalization cost for all hospitalizations including the CDI index hospitalization was $21,004 and admissions requiring ICU stays were twice as costly to providers as the average cost according to data from Premier Applied Sciences.
According to one of the study’s coauthors, Glenn S. Tillotson, PhD, FIDSA, FCCP, a hospital will end up paying $4,000-5,000 per patient, per hospitalization.
Triple-demic State of Affairs
Triple-demic State of Affairs
January 5, 2023 - According to Katelyn Jetelina MPH PhD, - an epidimelogist, data scientist, and a senior scientific consultant to a number of organizations, including the CDC; summarizes the current triple-demic state of affairs as this: while high numbers of the Flu and RSV seems to be declining, (we may see multiple bumps ahead) and the new COVID-19 variant XBB1.5 is spreading quickly across the US. We are in a wave
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In face of 'tripledemic,' masking mandates might make a comeback
December 29, 2022 - Researchers from Brown University, William Goedel, Ph.D., Abdullah Shihipar and Abigail Cartus—argue that “widespread masking during the first two years of the pandemic contributed to the historically low rates of flu and RSV observed in those years.”
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Law enforcement, firefighters had job with highest COVID death rates in 2020: CDC
The authors only looked at Americans between ages 15 and 64 who were in the paid, civilian workforce, meaning those with unpaid jobs or who serve in the military were not included in the analysis.
Results showed that those with protective service occupations -- including police, firefighters, fire inspectors, correctional officers, private detectives, security guards and probation officers -- had the highest rate at 60.3 deaths per 100,000 workers.
According to federal data, this is twice as high as the overall workers' COVID-19 death rate in 2020, which sits at 28.6 per 100,000.
Police officers, firefighters and other protection service employees had the occupation with the highest death rates from COVID-19 in 2020, new federal data shows.
The report, published by the National Center for Health Statistics -- a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at COVID mortality during the first year of the pandemic across 46 states and New York City by profession.
By disinfecting equipment and personal items, The UV Box
can help protect Police,
Firefighters, EMS workers
and their families
The Triple-demic Continues to Stress US Healthcare
December 20, 2022 The seven-day average of new daily COVID cases is above 66,000 with hospitalizations above 40,000, the highest number since mid-September.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there have already been 13 million illnesses and 7,300 deaths from flu this season, and those numbers are expected to rise in the coming months. And respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has helped strain hospitals nationwide.
For the week ended Dec. 10, 4,391 cases of RSV were detected in the United States.
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Hospitals are the Fullest,
But It's Not Just COVID
Hospitals are more full than they’ve been throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a CNN analysis of data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Can Be Deadly
Reinfection with COVID-19 significantly increases
the risk of death, hospitalization and other
health problems, according to a study by
researchers with Washington University School
of Medicine in St. Louis.
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Reducing Contract Staff Costs is a Priority
Staffing shortages are driving labor costs to an unsustainable level for hospitals operating on razor-thin margins.
The rise in contract labor from 2019 - 2022, has led to a 37 percent increase in labor expenses per patient, equating to between $4,009 and $5,494 per adjusted discharge for hospitals.
All Major Media Reporting on Virus Surge
Children's Hospitals Scrambling to Free Up Beds and Find Rooms for Patients
According NBC News Story... Around three-quarters of pediatric hospital beds are full in certain cities. Hospitals are directing kids out of state and teaching parents how to administer care at home.
Every inpatient bed at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago has been full for more than six weeks. Emergency room volume is up more than 150%.
The flow of patients is like "a treadmill that never ends," said Dr. Allison Bartlett, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Comer Children’s. As soon as a child is discharged, their bed fills up with the next kid in need.
Yet the hospital is simultaneously fielding a barrage of requests to accept new patients from facilities that don’t treat children or are overrun themselves.
Many of the patients at Comer Children’s have RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, which can cause lung infections. But doctors are also seeing cases of rhinovirus, enterovirus, adenovirus and several coronaviruses, including Covid.
Evidence that HAIs
Spread in Community,
Can Complicate Infection Control
Findings are concerning because CRE infections resistant to most antibiotics and are considered a major public health threat.
In the battle against superbugs and healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), evidence has emerge that the challenge of preventing such infections might be moving beyond the walls of healthcare facilities. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) infections are resistant to most antibiotics and are considered a major public health threat by the CDC, because of their capacity to cause difficult-to-treat infections and to spread rapidly.
A new study has identified Community Associated (CA) spread of these infections, suggestion the need for more stringent infection control measures in and outside of the healthcare setting.
'It's the perfect storm': Capacity issues intensify at children's hospitals amid RSV surge"
Hospitals in at least 23 states told NBC News they are facing capacity issues amid an unseasonably early and severe surge of patients with illnesses such as respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus.
Hartford-based Connecticut Children's Medical Center said it is speaking with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard about potentially installing a tent outside the facility to house more patients. RSV cases spiked at the hospital in September and continue to rise.
"Why so much in September and October, we don't know," Juan Salazar, MD, the hospital's physician-in-chief, told WTNH News 8. "We have theories. Herd immunity, immune suppression and everyone getting it at the same time, it's the perfect storm at our emergency departments."
How a Culture of WellBeing Can End Quiet-Quiting
October 12th, 2022
Fed up with the lack of support from their employers to compensate for additional tasks and time spent at work, employees have created their own system to achieve better balance and improve physical and mental health. Read more
The Looming Legal Battle over Hospital-Associated Infections
Healthcare Facilities Today September 15, 2022
The belief that infections are unavoidable has shielded hospitals and doctors from liability for decades, but not in the future.
Now enough evidence, enough data and more than enough studies exist for us to know that nearly all infections are preventable when doctors and staff adhere to evidence-based protocols. This puts physicians, hospitals and hospital board members in a new legal situation. Read more
Evaluation of Effectiveness of UV-C Dose in Contaminated N95 respirator, surgical and cotton masks
The findings suggest that the complete decontamination of masks can be performed effectively and safely in well-planned protocols as strategies to reduce the high consumption and safe disposal of masks in the environment. Read more.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
September 12, 2022
New projections through January 1: infections will drop until October and then increase in the winter.
Current projections show a relatively low death toll, but a new variant could change that.
Our recommendations: Maintain and improve surveillance for new variants.
Provide access to antivirals for older and high-risk individuals.
Determine which social distancing mandates have the greatest impact if a new, more severe variant develops.
Providers were assessed on stethoscope hygiene beliefs and practices. Yet, optimal hygiene increased from 24.4%-55.0%. Read more
The Planes are Filthy Whose to Blame?
Over the past week, two widely shared videos of filthy planes have raised concerns that sparked a debate about whether flight crew or passengers carry the responsibility for messes. Read more
WHO’s Director-General declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern
August 23, 2022 - Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean we pretend it is not there. Faced with the challenge of monkeypox, we must act pragmatically and effectively. We are all accountable, along with countries and individuals to stop transmission of these diseases. It means that we use the tools we have to protect ourselves and others as part of our regional Vision 2023: health for all by all.
How Much Virus Does a Person with COVID exhale?
New Research from Colorado State University and the University of Maryland
August 17, 2022 - People infected with the highly transmissible Alpha, Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 spew out higher amounts of virus than do those infected with other variants, according to a study. And individuals who have been vaccinated, even after a booster dose, still shed virus into the air.
Study co-author Kristen Coleman, who researches emerging infectious diseases at the University of Maryland in College Park, says people should be “pushing governments to invest in improving indoor air quality by improving ventilation and filtration systems”.
Monkeypox found on surfaces in infected patients' hospital rooms
Monkeypox mainly spreads through direct physical contact with an infected animal or person, but as cases worldwide continue to grow rapidly, scientists are researching other potential routes of transmission.
For the study, researchers swabbed the surfaces of rooms being used by two hospitalized monkeypox patients in Germany, including their bathrooms and the adjacent anterooms where workers would change in and out of personal protective equipment (PPE).
According to the researchers, the surfaces the patients directly touched had the highest loads of viral concentration and were primarily found in their bathrooms, particularly on the toilet seats, washbasin, and levers. The virus was also detected on the patients' chairs, the fabrics in their rooms (towels, shirts, pillowcases), and one patient's mobile phone.
Understanding Monkeypox and How Outbreaks Spread
August 4, 2022 - Monkeypox has sparked unprecedented outbreaks worldwide.
Monkeypox spreads by a touch - a lesion or contaminated object -- is the main pathway.
The pathogen enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth, rectum and anus.
It can also be present in the air in larger respiratory droplets and in suspended skin particles or dust.
June 29, 2022- Evidence shows that long distance airborne transmission
of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor settings such as restaurants, the workplace
and singing venues can occur due to insufficient air replacement.
Fears of more long COVID, a ‘mass disabling event’ as variants rip through California
July 26, 2022 - Long COVID will “disable a huge percentage of our society if we do not decrease new cases and prioritize a cure for existing ones.”
Los Angeles Michelin Star restaurant forced to shut its doors due to Covid-19
July 26, 2022 - Trois Mec, the highly decorated tasting room that earned a Michelin Star in Los Angeles, has been forced to shut its doors after seven years due to the economic impact of Covid-19.
“The restaurant industry is in a true crisis".
June, 7, 2022 The JAMA Network reports that through the American Rescue Plan, Congress has appropriated nearly a half trillion dollars ($350 billion to state, local, and tribal governments and $122 billion to schools), roughly half of which remains available to support indoor air quality improvements in small businesses, industrial settings, commercial buildings ...
The impact of HVAC design -
A systematic review of ultraviolet radiation
April 8, 2022: PLOS ONE reports the extent to which air germicidal UV (GUV) inactivates infectious agents depends of the increased dose of the UV light, the duration of irradiation, humidity, the organism, and system design.
This research underscores the value and importance of UVGI applications to inactivate viruses and mitigate disease transmission.
Long COVID-19 and New Variants:
Sounding a Continuing Alarm
June 27, 2022: Infection Control Today reports that the potential for infection or reinfection or breakthrough infection with BA.4 and BA.5 is alarmingly high.
Yes, this viewpoint is sounding an alarm.
Plus, a report from Harvard Medical School found viral antigens in the serum of long COVID patients up to a year after their acute infections, which may indicate an ongoing subacute active infection.
Tests Confirm Mobile Phones
Are Reservoirs of Multidrug-Resistant
A March 2022 original research article that appeared in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, presents findings that confirm mobile phones and environmental surfaces are in fact reservoirs for potentially pathogenic and highly drug-resistant microbes.
The presence of these drug-resistant pathogens on mobile phones of healthcare workers poses significant risk of transmission to the patient and highlights the need for stringent infection prevention measures.
Furthermore, healthcare workers represent a bridge between the hospital and the community, and can carry these multidrug-resistant pathogens back to their respective communities via contaminated mobile phones.
Impact of environmental hygiene interventions on healthcare-associated infections and patient colonization
In February 2022, Interventions in the healthcare environment study results appeared in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are one of the gravest threats to patient safety worldwide. The importance of the hospital environment has recently been revalued in infection prevention and control. Though the literature is evolving rapidly, many institutions still do not consider healthcare environmental hygiene (HEH) very important for patient safety. The evidence for interventions in the healthcare environment on patient colonization and HAI with multidrug-resistant microorganisms (MDROs) or other epidemiologically relevant pathogens was reviewed.
Of note to UVC...
Evidence showed UVC interventions were significant for reduction in patient colonization and HAI with multidrug-resistant microorganisms (MDROs).
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Latest Addition to AUVS’ UV Disinfection Line is Ideal for Student and Staff Protection in Schools, as well as for Companies Bringing Employees Back to the Office
Nursing Homes: New Surges
and Omicron Coronavirus Concern
Nov. 29, 2021 - Questions remain about what it means to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 — and whether that definition might change for healthcare workers regulated by a federal vaccine mandate.
The uncertainty looms as nursing homes and others near the initial deadline for the new federal vaccination mandate for healthcare workers. There is also concern of whether additional shots will slow the spread of the Omnicron variant.
November outbreaks hit Nursing Homes in Connecticut, Vermont, and Virginia, even as resident's vaccination rates hovered at around 87% and staff rates approached 75% nationally.
A potentially faster-spreading Delta variant, AY.4.2, has been spotted in 8 states
IA potentially faster-spreading "sub-lineage" of the coronavirus Delta variant named AY.4.2 has been spotted by labs in at least 8 states, and health authorities in the United Kingdom say they are investigating a growing share of cases from this strain of the virus.
Labs in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington state, plus the District of Columbia, have so far spotted at least one case of AY.4.2.
While it may spread somewhat faster, health authorities have not found evidence of more severe illness caused by the variant, and they say current vaccines remain effective against it.
New Study provides supporting information for deploying a UVC germicidal enclosure for decontamination of N95 masks
October 13, 2021 - A recent study demonstrated the extensive persistence of SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus in PPE, particularly in FFRs.
A germicidal UVC 254 nm enclosure was evaluated as a potential avenue for the safe reuse of FFRs.
AUVS Is Now GSA Approved
September 1, 2021 – Advanced Ultraviolet Systems (AUVS), one of the nation’s leading providers of UV-C-based disinfection products used in Healthcare, Law Enforcement, Education, and general markets is now GSA approved. AUVS was awarded GSA Multiple Award Schedule contract #47QSWA21D0064 for the company’s Germicidal Enclosures used to disinfect handheld and larger items.
Essential to any comprehensive hand hygiene program, the enclosures including the KR-615-LG, commonly known as The UV Box, and the two models of The UV Cube, use a patented application of germicidal UV-C (254 nm) energy.
Both The UV Box and The UV Cube have been proven by independent Virus and FDA consulting labs to provide greater than 99.99% disinfection of Coronavirus, C. diff, MRSA, Norovirus and other infectious contaminants on a variety of surfaces from handheld mobile electronic devices to personal masks and respirators.
All AUVS enclosures are based on the Photon Trap technology that AUVS’ Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Wayne Clark developed to protect the US Pentagon from anthrax and similar bio-terrorism attacks. Read Full Release.
Fighting Infections Spread through Touch Screens with Dr. Peter J. Papadakos
Video 1 in a Series
Dr. Peter J, Papadakos, University of Rochester Medical Center Director of Critical Care Medicine discusses dealing with the cross-contamination problem posed by touch screens including cell phones, tablets and computers. He explains how URMC is using AUVS' KR615 Germicidal Enclosure - The UV Box - to meet that challenge.
Statement from APIC President,
Ann Marie Pettis, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC,
About HAI Increases
September 2, 2021 - New data from the CDC shows dramatic increases in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) during 2020.
"The new report highlights the need for healthcare facilities to strengthen their infection prevention programs and support them with adequate resources so that they can handle emerging threats to public health, while at the same time ensuring that gains made in combatting HAIs are not lost,” according to APIC President Ann Marie Pettis.
The Results of a Multicenter Study:
Critically ill patients with COVID-19 are at high risk for HAIs
August 27, 2021 - Adult patients with severe COVID-19 were admitted to eight Italian hub hospitals from February 20, 2020, through May 20, 2020. A study, as described in Chest Journal, was designed to determine what characteristics in critically ill patients with COVID-19 are associated with HAIs and how are HAIs associated with outcomes in these patients.
The results show critically ill patients with COVID-19 are at high risk for VAPs and BSIs resulting from MDR organisms.
New “Safer Environments” Rental Program Makes High-End UV-C Disinfection Accessible to All Facilities
July 15, 2021 – Advanced Ultraviolet Systems (AUVS), one of the nation’s leading providers of UV-C-based disinfection products used in healthcare, has introduced the “Safer Environments” Rental Program.
The program makes the company’s line of disinfection systems accessible to medical and non-medical facilities of all sizes, with rental options starting as low as $109 per month. Read Article.
AUVS' New Safer Environments Rental Program Makes UV-C Disinfection even more accessible. Prices as Low as $109 per Month!
- CDC Position
- KR615 Deep Disinfection Procedure
UV could be used to disinfect respirators, according to an article which can be found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website entitled "Effects of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) on N95 Respirator Filtration Performance and Structural Integrity."
According to the CDC, while disinfection of one-time-use items is not commensurate with current US standards of care, such measures may be considered in crisis, such as times of N95 shortages as we currently find ourselves.
Based on The UV Box's dosage and the large interior size of its chamber, it can be used to disinfect N95 Masks. While the standard, pre-timed cycle of approximately one minute is appropriate for most items, the company has introduced a Deep Disinfection procedure for N95 masks. The Deep Disinfection procedure is to run masks through 2 consecutive disinfection cycles (approximately 5 minutes).
The company has ramped up production to meet demand. Orders will be filled in order received. The UV Box provides more than 90x the UV energy needed to achieve 99.9% disinfection of Coronavirus; One-button simplicity and is built specifically for demanding healthcare environments. The UV Box is designed and built in the USA.
Study reveals that community derived mobile phones are reservoirs of viable pathogenic microbes
July 8, 2021 - Mobile phones and smartphones are neglected contaminated platforms acting as ‘Trojan Horses’ for microbial in healthcare settings.
While evidence of exposure to droplets, aerosols and physical direct or indirect contacts are confirmed pathways for transmission of the pathogen, little attention is being given to the role mobile phones are playing as fomites. These mobile devices are crossing international borders and continents totally unchecked for microbial contamination.
July 21, 2021 - According to the CDC, more than 93% of new cases in the Plains and Upper Plains states are caused by the Delta variant. In New York, and much of the South, the share of cases linked to the Delta variant are above 80%.
3 hours ago - 7-6-21 - First discovered in India in March, the variant is now spreading fast — it is thought to be around 50 percent more transmissible than previous versions.
What can be done to stop Delta, and how will the variant hamper global efforts to return to normalcy?
June 30, 2021 - The Delta variant of the coronavirus now accounts for about one in every four infections in the United States, according to new estimates this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“When you have such a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread, what you are going to see among under-vaccinated regions, be that states, cities or counties, you’re going to see these individual types of blips,” Dr. Anthony Fauci.
A new study shows the coronavirus can survive for contaminated surfaces, especially non-porous surfaces, and the virus can transfer to the skin, even if the virus suspension has dried. Hand hygiene continues to be a critical component of preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection prevention.
April 16, 2021 Ultraviolet C devices (UVC-D) used after standard cleaning procedures in hospitals can dramatically reduce pathogens in microscopic samples, or colony forming units (CUFs), according to a study unveiled at the annual conference of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).
The study, presented by Gabriele Messina, PhD, a professor of public health at the University of Siena in Italy, concludes that UVC-D can cut CFUs by 97.3%
May 3, 2021 A new study from the University of Waterloo shows over 400 common disinfectants currently in use could be made safer for people and the environment and could better fight the COVID-19 virus with the simple application of UV-C light. Read more.
New Study Results:
Applying UV Light to Common Disinfectants Makes them Safer
Studies Demonstrate Importance of Decontaminating Hospital Surfaces
Based on recent evidence, as reported in the February 22, 2021 issue of the Environmental Chemistry Letters, decontamination of hospital surfaces should constitute a critical part of the infection control and prevention of COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 was detected in respiratory samples, saliva, blood and feces of pre-symptomatic patients.
Incubation period of SARS-CoV-2: Multiple studies show the average incubation period and duration from respiratory samples transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was 12-24 days.
Many Prisons are Coronavirus Hotspots. But few countries are prioritizing vaccines for inmates.
Jan 14, 2021
In the United States, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world, one in five prisoners have had covid-19, according to the Marshal Project. While vaccination priorities and distribution are set by each state, groups like the American Medical Association have lobbied for inmates to be included in initial rollouts, along with essential workers in the criminal justice sector. The federal prison system will inoculate prison employees first.
About a dozen states, including Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, have prioritized inmates in the first phases of inoculation. But in some places, the issue is politically charge: After public backlash, Colorado backtracked on proposed plans to vaccinate incarcerated people ahead of the elderly living outside of congregate facilities.
“Our research suggests that people in prison should be among the first groups to receive any COVID-19 vaccine to protect against infection and to prevent further spread of the disease,” Seena Fazel, a University of Oxford psychiatrist...
CDC issues statement on new COVID-19 variants
Jan 6th, 2021
Scientists are working to learn more about how easily COVID-19 variants might spread, whether they could cause more severe illness, and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them, stated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more
Use of chemical disinfectants has soared, sparking new examination of ingredients
Regulators are considering whether chemical disinfectant ingredients called quats are safe in light of increased use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quats are effective disinfectants, but some researchers are raising alarm given recent research on the compounds' possible human health and environmental effects, including fertility issues, endocrine disruption, occupational asthma, marine toxicity, and potential to spur antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Study finds bleach-alternative COVID-19 surface disinfectants
may pollute indoor air
Cleaning surfaces with hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants has the potential to pollute the air and pose a health risk, according to research led by University of Saskatchewan. Read More
Summary of Guidance for Public Health Strategies to Address High Levels of Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 December 2020
With colder weather, more time spent indoors, the ongoing U.S. holiday season, and silent spread of disease, with approximately 50% of transmission from asymptomatic persons, the United States has entered a phase of high-level transmission where a multipronged approach to implementing all evidence-based public health strategies at both the individual and community levels is essential.
This summary guidance highlights critical evidence-based CDC recommendations and sustainable strategies to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
Colorado Revises Vaccine Plan, Lowers Priority for Police and Paramedics
Denver CO - According to the Denver Post, under Colorado's revised state vaccination plan first responders including police and paramedics are being given a lower priority than originally indicated.
Previously, the state's draft vaccination plan placed health care workers, first responders and nursing home residents in the first phase of Colorado's mass vaccination campaign.
Under the new plan, health care workers with less contact with COVID-19 patients — including those in home health, hospice and dental settings — and first responders, such as police and paramedics, will be considered a lower priority within Phase 1.
Where Do Inmates Rank in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution?
Prison Populations Not in Top Tiers Despite Unique Vulnerability
The New York Times points out:
Prison inmates are not ranked in the top tiers of the federal criteria, to receive the vaccine when it becomes available, even though some of the largest outbreaks have occurred in the nation’s prisons.
The American Medical Association is among those calling for coronavirus vaccines to be given to inmates and employees at prisons, jails and detention centers, citing the unique risks to people in confinement — and the potential for outbreaks to spread from correctional centers, straining community hospitals.
People held in confinement are uniquely vulnerable to the virus. Incarcerated individuals are four times more likely to become infected than people in the general population, according to a study by the criminal justice commission. Over all, COVID-19 mortality rates among prisoners are higher than in the general population.
Will COVID-19 vaccines protect us?
International news agency, Reuters raises the issue that two of the three vaccines may benefit the individual, but not be effective in stemming the tide of the the pandemic.
According to the article, evidence so far suggests that COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca will help stop people developing the disease. Only AstraZeneca’s data, so far, shows signs that its shot may also help prevent transmission of the virus.
“Protection against illness has a value for an individual,” said Penny Ward,” a visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London. She added, however, that vaccines that do not prevent transmission will not halt the pandemic.
Helpful Tips for Thanksgiving Travelers
For those who choose to hit the road this Thanksgiving, CNN offers 10 ways to avoid COVID-19 during a holiday road trip.
Their list includes:
Prep you car in advance to avoid breakdowns and unscheduled stops.
Safeguard those in your party with first aid supplies, water, healthy snack and masks.
Sanitize everything you touch.
Keep the car window open a crack for increased air circulation.
Plan and limit your stops including meals.
For the complete list and details on each item click button to the right.
Top COVID Advisor Birx warns the pandemic is about to get much worse
Birx's memo painted a grim picture: "Cases are rapidly rising in nearly 30 percent of all USA counties, the highest number of county hot spots we have seen with this pandemic," it said. "Half of the United States is in the red or orange zone for cases despite flat or declining testing."
A New Coronavirus Variant is Spreading Across Europe
LONDON — A variant of the coronavirus that is believed to have originated in Spain has spread across Europe and now accounts for most of the new cases reported in several countries in the region, according to the findings of a new study.
CDC Launches $180M Anti-infection Program for Healthcare Workers
The program, called Project Firstline, will help to train staff in nursing homes, hospitals, dialysis centers, and other healthcare facilities on how to protect workers on the frontlines battling pathogens such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Rural Hospitals become latest coronavirus hot spots
Rural states are now leading the country in per capita coronavius hospitalizations.
Lancet Study: Confirms Effectiveness
of Social Distancing
This study strongly supports a role of social distancing as an effective way to mitigate COVID-19 transmission in the USA. Until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available, social distancing will remain one of the primary measures to combat disease spread, and these findings should serve to support more timely policy making around social distancing in the USA in the future.
Research on Toilet Plumes and Bathroom Surface Contamination Spotlight the Need to Focus on Restroom Etiquette & Disinfection
October 2020 - "Toilet plumes containing aerosolized coronavirus, released by flushing and lingering in the air or possibly landing on surfaces, may pose another concern" in the battle against COVID-19 according to an article in U.S. News & World Report. The article, by U.S. News Staff Writer Lisa Esposito, sites multiple expert sources and research studies.
Among key take-aways are:
Evidence seems to confirm COVID-19 could spread by fecal-oral contact or toilet plumes. Fecal-oral contact can occur, for example, when a restaurant worker fails to wash his or her hands after visiting the restroom and then handles or serves food.
Evidence of live, infectious virus - not just genetic material - has been identified in stool of severe COVID-19 patients
Hospital workers and patients face exposure to infected stool due to high-traffic restrooms
Bathroom surfaces may provide several routes for COVID-19 to spread
In addition to masks, hand hygiene, keeping toilet lids down, the need to sanitize high-touch areas throughout any restroom is also critical.
How to Properly Wear a Face Mask: Infographic
National - Wearing a face mask in public helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 — but only if worn properly, covering both your nose and mouth. John Hopkins released an infographic of mask-wearing tips to get the maximum protection for yourself and others.
Flu Season Looms And Scientists Wonder
How Flu And COVID-19 Might Mix
September 2020 - Doctors around the world have seen some patients who tested positive for both influenza virus and the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
AAP: Flu Vaccination More Important Than
Ever as Flu and SARS-CoV-2 Co-exist
September 2020 - This season, influenza vaccination — recommended for everyone 6 months and older without medical contraindications — is vital to help protect vulnerable populations and reduce the burden of respiratory illnesses and hospitalizations during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Effectiveness of 222nm ultraviolet light on disinfecting SARS-CoV-2 surface contamination
September 2020 - Although the most common UV in use is a germicidal lamp emitting 254nm UVC, it can only be used in unoccupied spaces. This article, that appears in The American Journal of Infection Control looks at the effectiveness of 222 nm UV Light on disinfecting SARS-CoV-2.
From Fox News
"You just brought it home": Environmental virologist explains how phones make virus germs mobile
LOS ANGELES - Dr. Charles Gerba, an environmental virologist and microbiology professor at the University of Arizona, has been studying how diseases transmit throughout the environment for years.
While many Americans have been keeping their hands clean to avoid transferring bacteria during the coronavirus pandemic, Gerba warns that phones, which are essentially an extension of ourselves, are actually “mobile germ devices.”
Click arrow in video window to watch video. or visit Fox News
As presented on the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) website - the ECRI recommends doses over 59mj/cm2 for disinfection of N95 masks using a Countertop UV Disinfection System.
Nebraska Medicine validated 60 mJ/cm2 and 300 mJ/cm2 exposure for FFR decontamination
The International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) has issued a Statement on UV's ability to disinfect COVID-19. Authoritative third-party validation encourages users.
Note: The KR615's, output of 200mJ/cm2 exceeds both the ECRI and Nebraska Medicine Protocols for disinfection of N95 respirators.
COVID-19 and Common Flu Precautions
Hand Washing, Avoiding Those Infected, and Social Distancing top list of precautions; Hospitals, Clinics, Businesses and Individuals must focus on mobile device disinfection as well.
Updated March 23, 2020 - The total number of Coronavirus COVID-19 cases now exceeds 343,421, with more than 14,790 confirmed deaths worldwide. In late January, Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston said, "The lesson we've learned is Coronavirus infections are serious and one of the newest and biggest global health threats."
Scientists in the US and at the National Institutes of Health are working on a vaccine, but it is expected it will not be available until the end of the year at the earliest.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing. In general, the public should do "what you do every cold and flu season," said Dr. John Wiesman, the health secretary in Washington state -- where the first US case of Coronavirus was confirmed. That includes washing your hands often with soap and water.
If hand washing is at the forefront of protection from Coronavirus, as with most infectious diseases, the disinfection of handheld mobile devices is the next logical step.
700+ Hospitals / Hospital Groups Fight Back Against
All Infections with The UV Box
More than 700 hospitals and hospital groups have selected The UV Box from Advanced Ultra-Violet Systems to disinfect personal phones, facility-issued smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices as well as N95 masks and goggles. The CDC has stated while one-time-mask disinfection is not commensurate with US standards of care, the measure is acceptable under current conditions.
By instructing staff and visitors to extend hand washing for the full 55 second device disinfection cycle of The UV Box, hospitals can systematically increase hand washing times. This is especially important in light of the fact that many antimicrobials have to be on the hands for 20 seconds before they start working, yet 90% of people don’t wash their hands for 20 to 30 seconds.
By simultaneously performing both functions - hand washing and device disinfection - users step away with their devices disinfected and their hands properly cleaned.
Hospital Spreads Word on Protecting Its Community
Carilion Clinic's is letting the community know about the new level of safety The UV Box provides.
October 22, 2019
Carilion Hospital: Zero Infections after 3 Years of UV Box Use!
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is celebrating three years of zero central line infection rates in their NICU.
The biggest change since this video was posted is the The UV Box is now readily available. Chemical-free, safe mobile device disinfection up to 99.999% in 55-seconds.
See The UV Box this week at Cleanis Booth 1039, APIC 2019 in Philadelphia! Chemical-free, safe mobile device disinfection up to 99.999% in 55-seconds
New York Times May 30, 2019
Measles Cases Reach Highest Level in More Than 25 Years, C.D.C. Says
According to an article in the NY Times, there had been 550 confirmed cases of measles in New York City since September 2018. As of May 28th, there have been 254 cases of measles in Rockland County, NY.
The C.D.C. said on Thursday that if the current outbreak continues into the summer and fall, the United States could lose its “measles elimination status.” That means the disease would be considered endemic in the country for the first time in a generation.
Are TV Commentator Sounding False Alarm on Contagious Nature of Measles Virus?
The website, Pundit FactCheck took a look at the warnings being sounded by TV medical experts on the measles virus. According to the site, CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen's warning in an interview with Anderson Cooper about the contagious nature of the virus was worth checking.
Particularly in question was, her statement that "if someone is in a room that has measles and leaves and you walk in two hours later, you could get measles from that person."
New York Times:
"Worst Year for Measles in a Quarter Century..."
This year's measles outbreak has increased interest in AUVS' germicidal enclosure, The UV Box. According to an article in the New York Times the seriousness of that outbreak and the contagious nature of the virus is not without justifiable concern. Among those concerns are the fact that "infected people can transmit the measles virus starting four days before they develop a rash, so they may be contagious before they realize they have the disease." In addition the article states the virus can live on surfaces for several hours, and is so contagious that, according to the C.D.C., “you can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to two hours after that person is gone.”
USA Today Gives Visibility to the Cell Phone Cross-Contamination Problem
According to a March 5th article in the USA Today...
“Mobile phones have become veritable reservoirs of pathogens as they touch faces, ears, lips and hands of different users of different health conditions,” researchers said in a 2009 study of bacteria removed from personal phones.
A study by the University of Arizona found the typical worker’s desk, which tends to be your smartphone’s home for about 40 hours a week, has hundreds of times more bacteria per square inch than an office toilet seat.
Other studies have found serious pathogens on smartphones such as Streptococcus, MRSA – a type of bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics – and even E. coli.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 80 percent of all infections are transmitted by hands, and our smartphones have basically become an extension of that."
Going beyond the article in terms of solutions, The UV Box from AUVS remains the system of choice in more than 100 hospital groups and healthcare organizations based on:
Efficacy – Up to 99.995%, 4.5 log disinfection of MRSA and C.diff spores - and up to 99.999%, 5.25 log disinfection or Norovirus - all in just 55 seconds
Ease of Use – One-button operation
Flexibility – An enclosure size than can handle more than just cell phones
Economy – A one-time cost that produces no wast product
The USA-designed-and-made UV Box is also moving into the Food Processing, Foodservice, Education, Transportation, Travel & Leisure Industries, among others.
See The UV Box at AORN
The UV Box: Up to 5.25 log, 99.999% mobile device disinfection in just 55 seconds, from AUVS.
See it at AORN Global Surgical Conference and Expo
- Cleanis Booth 510
Hand Hyigene Plus
Patients know how dirty cell phones and tablets are: the subject is covered in all major media.
AUVS' Hand Hygiene Plus program delivers a one-two punch directly addressing the problem AND your patient's concerns.
Hand Hygiene Plus:
1) Provides a proven line of defense against germs and cross-contamination with The UV Box and 55-second disinfection!
2) Helps your hospital deliver a visible message about your commitment to providing a safer environment.
To learn more click or call: 716-525-2127
NEWSFLASH - Feb 7, 2019
Latest independent lab test results show The UV Box delivers 5.25 log, 99.999% disinfection of norovirus on handheld devices including tablets and smartphones in just 55 seconds.
Southeast Hospital Group
Picks The UV Box
NEWSFLASH - Dec. 15, 2018
AUVS' Germicidal enclosure, The UV Box, has been selected as the group-wide Mobile Handheld Device disinfection system for a 14 hospital group in the southeast - More information to follow,
AUVS Germicidal Enclosure, The UV Box, Protecting Hospital's Youngest Patients
Virginia Hospital Puts The UV Box on front line in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
AUVS Releases List of Recent UV Box
Hospitals across the US are adding The UV Box to the Hand Hygiene Bundle.
Medical-Quality Disinfection Targets Mobile Devices
in the Food Processing and Foodservice Industries
The UV Box Targets Mobile devices that come in close contact with food, processing and serving