Food Safety Magazine

Podcast | June 25, 2019

Ep. 51. Bob Powitz: The Right Way to Clean and Sanitize—Part II

By Staff

Ep. 51. Bob Powitz: The Right Way to Clean and Sanitize—Part II

Dr. Robert (Bob) Powitz is the principal and technical director of R.W.Powitz & Associates. There, he specializes in forensic sanitation services to industry, law firms, insurance companies, and government agencies. Bob has dedicated his career to food safety having worked for over 54 years to study, develop, and implement the most effective sanitation practices.

Bob has served as director of environmental health and safety and biological safety officer at Wayne State University where he also held the title of Adjunct Associate Professor in the College of Engineering. He also served as director of biological safety and environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as health director for five different towns in Connecticut. 

He is currently the public health consultant for the Bucks County, PA, Department of Corrections.

Bob received his undergraduate education in agronomy and plant pathology from the State University of New York and the University of Georgia. He holds a M.Sc. in Public Health with a specialty in institutional environmental health and a Ph.D. in environmental health, with specialties in environmental microbiology and epidemiology from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. He also has a very long list of honors including, most impressively, a spot on the Food Safety Magazine Editorial Advisory Board.

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​In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Bob [35:25] about:

  • The overuse of chemicals and sanitizers and why relying too much on them is a problem
  • Faulty ventilation systems, condensation, and leaks—how these problems can lead to the active growth of biofilm
  • His plan of action when he sees chemicals being used incorrectly in a food plant
  • Integrated cleaning and measurement
  • New clean-in-place methods, steam, dry ice, carbon dioxide, hydrogen peroxide, and other green ways to clean
  • Why the regulatory community needs to buy into green cleaning methods
  • Assessing a cleaning and sanitizing methodologies
  • Why more cleaning products need to be evaluated to a standard like NSF International
  • Innovating cleaning technologies that have originated in Europe, the Pacific Rim, and elsewhere.
  • An example of a time he could not find the source of confirmed Listeria contamination in a ready-to-eat processing facility
  • His advice to future sanitarians

Bob Powitz's Articles in Food Safety Magazine
Checking Field Thermometer Accuracy 
Chemical-Free Cleaning: Revisited 
Non-EPA Registered Cleaners and Sanitizers for Use in Food Production Facilities and Retail Food Establishments

Want more from Bob Powitz? Find more of his articles on Food Safety Magazine.

Bob Ferguson's Food Safety Insights [25:19]
Bob joins us to discuss FDA's comments regarding survey results that appeared in the April/May article:
What Industry and FDA are Thinking about FSMA Implementation—Part II

Want more from Bob Ferguson? Find more of his articles and podcast segments.

​News Mentioned in This Episode
VIDEO: Burger King Employee Caught Cleaning Table with Floor Mop [4:50]
FDA Holds First-Ever Public Hearing on Regulating CBD Products ​[9:41]
Kroger and Costco Frozen Berries Recalled a Month After FDA Announces Surprise Testing [21:28]

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