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Can I use natural or green sanitizers to sanitize food contact surfaces?

A: Dr. Annie, a microbiologist, did independent testing on over 50 household cleaning products to answer this question. Dr. Annie tested products, including Thieves by Young Living and Sol-U Guard by Melaleuca, for their effectiveness against Norovirus.

Heat or chemicals are two valid methods to sanitize food contact surfaces effectively. Ohio State University has information on using inexpensive household food-safe products like chlorine bleach, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to sanitize. 

When choosing a sanitizing product for your cottage food kitchen look for:

  • A label stating designed for food contact surfaces.
  • Label stating a reduction in microorganisms to 99.999% within 30 seconds.
  • Unscented, fragrance-free products (Most scents and fragrances are not food-grade).
  • Products certified by third party organizations like Green Seal, EcoLogo or Design for the Environment. 
  • EPA-assigned establishment number, as opposed to an EPA registration number, required for a products or technologiesmaking a microbiological-kill claim.

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