Chlorine Dioxide for Food & Produce Sanitation

Maintaining a high-quality sanitation program to prevent microbial contamination is critical to all food operations. Food contamination can damage customer confidence, elevate financial risk due to product recalls, or even result in loss of life. Past experience has proven the need for more effective and powerful sanitation programs in food processing facilities (e.g. poultry, meat, fish, bottling plants, restaurants, dairies, and breweries).

The emergence of highly virulent strains of pathogens requires new approaches to sanitization programs. International Dioxcide has a variety of approved applications utilizing chlorine dioxide in food processing environments. Chlorine dioxide, with its broad spectrum antimicrobial activity, has proven effective against a wide range of microorganisms. Chlorine dioxide, when properly applied, minimizes toxic residues as it doesn’t produce halogenated organic by-products. Chlorine dioxide is less corrosive to processing equipment, tanks, lines, etc., as it is true dissolved gas in water when compared to chlorine.


Approved Applications:

  • Microbial control of flumes, processing waters, retort waters, cooling canals, warmers and coolers
  • Fruit and vegetable rinses. Uncut and unpeeled, as well as cut and peeled (potable rinse required)
  • Food contact surface sanitizer for all processing equipment surfaces
  • Cooling towers for slime and odor control
  • Rendering facilities for odor control
  • Whole plant potable water treatment
  • Control mold and slime-forming bacteria on walls, bacteria on walls, floors and ceilings


Fresh fruits and vegetables can carry surface flora of microorganisms consisting of harmless soil organisms, fungal spores and yeasts as well as potential pathogens. Superficial washing commonly is used to remove these contaminants. Often, minimally processed fruits and vegetables are transported via flumes through processing plants. Because of the numerous exposures to water, the potential for microbial cross contamination is high.

Bio slimes also form in rinse and flume systems that serve as a contaminant reservoir, potentially cross contaminating all of the produce. To ensure sanitary conditions within these systems, produce must be protected from contamination. Effective microbial control of process waters and rinses will result in less bacterial and microbial contamination, and a cleaner product, with excellent shelf life and minimize chloro-organic residues.

When water is used in the flume application, several benefits occur when using ClO2, including a reduction in the number of bacteria and fungus in the water and an increase in the amount of filth and dirt removed as the product is moved.

CIP Sanitizer

Chlorine dioxide is a very fast and powerful oxidizer used broadly in sanitation and disinfection applications.  For clean-in-place (CIP) applications, water is injected directly into a facility’s fluid distribution network and circulated for a set duration of time. Compared with traditional chlorine chemicals or hot water, overall chemical costs are reduced, sewage disposal costs are lowered or eliminated, and system corrosion is diminished.


Fruits and vegetables in canning can result in contamination. Using chlorine dioxide can improve sanitation and disinfection of the process and offers the added benefit of not leaving residue. Chlorine dioxide has many uses in canneries relating to sanitizing and cleaning at the various food processing stages.

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