Jun 11

Swine Flu - June 2009

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CHEMEX PROVIDING PROTECTION AGAINST H1N1 AS WARNINGS ISSUED OF UK PANDEMIC

Cases of the virus H1N1 - misleadingly called swine flu – continue to escalate in the UK with forecasts that the virus will spread rapidly this autumn.

The Department of Health reported on May 31st that the cases had now reached 200 with more expected.

This view was reinforced by Prof John Oxford of Queen Mary School of Medicine, University of London who was reported in The Daily Telegraph as saying there was likely to be a flu pandemic as autumn begins.
He warned that a pandemic was likely to affect the UK before a vaccine becomes available, adding that the vaccine - which is expected to be ready in October or  November - would only cover about 15 per cent of the population.

The World Health Authority has raised the level of pandemic alert to five – one below the level for an actual pandemic outbreak.

The good news for Chemex customers is that we have a range of products that will all kill the virus and help businesses build up a defensive shield against it.

Chemex has a comprehensive range of disinfectants and hand hygiene products. Some businesses have started a regime of supplying hand sanitizing gels for their meeting rooms to stop the spread of the virus through shaking hands.

Our products include FAD, Bacticlean, Bacticlean XTRA and Bacteria X . These are all based on quats and will easily kill this type of virus.

Use these products at the normal in-use dilutions. Spray on and wipe off to clean and sanitise hard surfaces.

The virus is also killed by products such as Bactiwipes, Safe Hands and Safe Wash  and by alcohols such as ABC.

These products are in high demand and we recommend ordering in advance to ensure guaranteed supply.

The Health Protection Agency’s advice is that good general infection control practices and good respiratory hand hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including H1N1. This includes:

• Stay at home if you have flu-like symptoms
• Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible
• Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully
• Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people
• Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a suitable sanitiser
• Making sure your children follow this advice.

Further Information is available via the Health Protection Agency (www.hpa.org.uk) or the Chemex Technical Team on 0121 56 56 300.

www.chemexuk.com

Apr 30

Swine Flu

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Technical Bulletin Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N1

30th April 2009

H1N1, misleadingly called ‘Swine Flu’ is the latest infectious illness which is expected to hit the UK in the coming days and weeks. The WHO has raised current level of pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5. Phase 5 is characterised by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries and is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent.

Flu pandemics occur about three times a century so – statistically speaking – the world is about due for another one. That is not to say a pandemic is inevitable.

Etymology

Flu is caused by a number of similar RNA viruses of the Orthomyxoviridae family and are classified by two surface proteins called haemaglutinin and neuraminidase. These proteins enable the virus to bind to the cell surface, and then release new viruses once replicated, respectively.

So, the different strains are classed by these serotypes: Avian Flu was serotype H5N1 and the current strain is H1N1 (the same as the 1918 Spanish Flu, coincidentally). It is the ability of these surface proteins to mutate that means the body only builds up limited resistance to flu: next year a different serotype will arrive and we start over again.

It is misleading to call H1N1 ‘Swine Flu’ as to date the virus has not yet been isolated in animals . Genetic analysis has shown H1N1 to contain mix of swine flu, bird flu, and human flu genotypes but as the first cases developed near a pig farm there has been speculation that there may be a connection. Pigs have been known to be a reservoir for flu viruses with other organisms as vectors.

Transmission

It should be noted that H5N1 Avian Flu was zoonotic (i.e. was transferred from animals to humans) but was not, by and large, transferred between humans by the usual means such as airborne transmission. H1N1 is different in that it is spread by human-to-human contact; coughs and sneezes will aerosolise the virus particles which can be either breathed in or – more likely – deposited on hard surfaces which are then touched by others and the usual hand-to-eye or hand-to-mouth infection routes take over.

Hygiene Control

The structure of flu virus means that it is easily killed by quaternary ammonium based disinfectants such as FAD, Bacticlean, Bacticlean XTRA and Bacteria X . These are all based on quats and will easily kill this type of virus. Use these products at the normal in-use dilutions. Spray on and wipe off to clean and sanitise hard surfaces.

The virus is also killed by products such as Bactiwipes, Safe Hands and Safe Wash by alcohols such as ABC.

Note that these products kill ALL strains of flu as the serotype of the virus is not relevant to the mode of action of the biocide. The products listed above would also kill H2N2, which caused Asian Flu in 1957 and H3N2, which caused Hong Kong Flu in 1968.

Face masks are not advised for a number of reasons—all detailed on the HPA website

NB Orthomyxoviridae are large, enveloped viruses. This type is killed by the products listed above. In comparison, note that Norovirus is a small, non-enveloped virus against which such protocols are generally ineffective and AntiBak should be used if Norovirus is suspected.

Food Handling

This is not a food-borne illness. Pork is safe! There is a statistically minute chance that the virus could be contracted from undercooked pork but the likelihood is of the same magnitude as winning the lottery for weeks in a row. As ever, more important is the hand hygiene of people handling food. Remember that transmission is most likely to come from the routes described above if someone handling food has the virus or has virus particles on their hands picked up from hard surfaces.


The Health Protection Agency’s advice is that good general infection control practices and good respiratory hand hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including H1N1. This includes:

· Stay at home if you have flu-like symptoms

· Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible

· Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully

· Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people

· Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a suitable sanitiser

· Making sure your children follow this advice.

Further Information

…is available via the HPA (www.hpa.org.uk) or the Chemex Technical Team on 0121 56 56 300.

Mar 6

Warewashers

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Mention the word warewasher outside of a commercial environment and people will stare at you blankly. Warewashers are dishwashers, glasswashers and utensil washers. Warewasher is the collective name used for all of this equipment.

Busy restaurants, hotels and catering establishments would be lost without this equipment. They need a continuous supply of clean crockery and cutlery and they need commercial equipment that is up to the job.

Purchasing this equipment can be a considerable investment for any business. In terms of selection and make there are many things to consider including the energy and water efficiency of the units and their volume of throughput.

There are various types of warewashers. Examples include cabinet glasswashers and dishwashers which tend to be small front loaders which fit under benches or kitchen tops. These are OK for smaller establishments but much more powerful and faster machines are available.

Rack conveyor dishwashers are the largest of such machines. They can deal with incredibly large volumes with an uninterupted flowthrough whilst in operation. Flight washers use a conveyor belt type arrangement but still work on the same principle of continuous washing.

Choosing a warewasher on price alone is not a sensible option. Look carefully at the needs of your establishment, its volume in terms of washing up and the chemicals that it will use. Green washers are becoming ever more popular but be wary of those claims to be green that are often little more than advertising blurb.

Mar 5

Warewash and Glasswash

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First Impressions

Chemex dishwashing products give you spotless, odour-free cutlery, clean crockery and crystal clear glassware. Table linen and furniture products ensure that evry point of customer contact is a positive experience, each and every time they visit.

The Chemex health-check includes:

- Ongoing training of washware staff

- Provision and maintenance of dosing equipment

- Monthly health check of warewash and glass wash machines - descaling, bacteria removal, nozzles unblocked, dosing levels checked and filters cleared.

- Provision of product

Outcomes for you

Protect and safeguard your business - maintain your reputation by delivering the service your customers expect. Control and minimise your costs.

Clean, dry tableware on time, every time

Large or small, your kitchen depends on the smooth running of your warewashing machine for an efficient supply of sparkling clean and hygienic tableware, pans and utensils.

Efficiency and speed

By minimising the need for re-wash and the risk of downtime due to accidents, the Chemex non-corrosive products increase your warewashing efficiency.

As leading application experts, Chemex can assess your organisation and help you set improvement goals. Our warewashing health check will support you to achieve and maintain the desired cost and efficiency levels.

Our objective is to provide you with high performance solutions that enable an efficient warewashing operation and optimised cost control.

Auto-dosed Detergents

Controlling the dosing of warewashing chemicals ensures a consistent result, avoids waste and eliminates direct handling of chemicals. A range of detergents are available to suit different warewashing types, local water conditions and types of operation. Clean plates every time come from exact dosing of a quality detergent.

For more information on how Chemex can assist you with the smooth running of your business please call on 0121 565 6300 or visit www.chemexuk.com

Feb 27

Laundry Tips

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Laundry Tips for your Staff and your Business

Preparation

Empty pockets, turn down cuffs on shirts, close all zips, poppers and hooks.

Sorting

Read and follow care labels. Separate dark colours from light colours and whites. Sort delicate fabrics from heavier ones. Sort by temperature to ensure best results and never exceed the temperature on the fabric care label. Wash very dirty clothes separately ( dirt can pass onto less soiled clothes in the washing machine ).

Loading

Over-loading doesn’t allow clothes to tumble properly in the drum, thereby reducing the agitation. This will lead to reduced cleaning performance. Over-loading also reduces the space in the machine, preventing powders from dissolving properly. This will increase the chances of powder residues, bleach damage and poor performance.

Temperature

Wash water temperature directly affects cleaning and creasing. The correct choice of water temperature can also minimize dye transfer from unstable colours. Check your garment care labels for recommended wash temperature. Cold water may help protect sensitive dyes, minimize washer creasing and save hot water, however, it doesn’t clean as well as warmer temperatures. Use it for bright red and orange dyes that release colour without losing intensity; lightly-soiled fabrics and removal of some protein stains such as blood. Cold water is excellent for rinsing all loads, regardless of the washing temperature.

Unloading and Drying

Once the wash cycle has finished, the garments should be removed and dried as soon as possible. Leaving clothes damp can lead to problems such as bad smells or even mildew. Load your dryer so clothes can circulate. Over-loading can result in excessive creasing. Heat damage to clothing can also occur if the dryer ven becomes blocked. Another good laundry habit is to wipe the inside of the machine after use and even leave the door open for a while, to allow the inside of the machine to dry out. This helps to prevent bad smells / mildew forming in the machine.

Call Chemex today on 0121 565 6300 to find out how we can help you concentrate on your business

Feb 23

Cheap Cleaning Products

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I have just spent over 45 minutes on the phone with an irate ex-customer. This is not a good way to begin the busy working week. Even worse - the problem he has is not of our making.

The restaurant shall remain nameless for obvious reasons. However, this well known, albeit remote seaside Bistro Bar, had been buying products from Chemex International for over 7 years. They were pleased with the service, ecstatic with the products and nothing was too much trouble for their local supplier. So where did it all go wrong?

With budgets tight and the credit crunch beginning to bite, our local entrepreuner decided that the opportunity being offered to him by a competitor would more than halve his current cleaning and hygiene bills. Based purely on a commercial decision he reluctantly let his existing supplier go.

The honeymoon barely lasted a couple of weeks. Not only were the products inferior in quality but to add insult to injury they didn’t even last half as long as the previous suppliers products. The overall result was an increase in costs and less effective products and increased cleaning time. There was only one possible outcome - put everything back to the way it was before.

This might sound easy but there are other implications and factors that make this awkward. The previous supplier had removed some good quality dosing and dispensing equipment which had been replaced by the new chemical suppliers flimsy plastic alternatives. The original supplier would now have to re-install everything from scratch.

Ordinarily this would have been fairly easy to justify once any installation work had been carried out. However, a telephone call to the previous supplier revealed another problem. At 17 miles from the nearest main road the ex supplier was less than keen to go through the process of re-installation and worse - to supply to such a remote location again.

If you are considering a change of products on the basis of price you should do your homework carefully. Dilution rates of your existing products need to be compared with the dilution rates of what the competitor is recommending. Are there other items that add value to your business?, e.g. free delivery, free staff training, dosing and dispensing equipment. Even a friendly local face is worth its weight in gold these days.

Most chemical companies around the world have seen some sharp increases in the raw materials needed for the finished products. The UK is no exception. With companies feeling the squeeze, many manufacturers have resorted to diluting the strengths of their products whilst holding their prices. Sadly, in the long run, this is a recipe for disaster in terms of brand quality and customer loyalty.

Some companies would appear to be bucking the trend. Chemex International Ltd based in the West Midlands just refuse point blank to entertain the idea. Kirti Patel from their marketing department was quick to defend the companies stance on quality. ” We have spent 25 years working hard to develop a strong brand”, she said, continuing “To dilute the quality of our products is diluting the brand, our reputation and our customer loyalty. This is not something we would even be prepared to consider, and is, in our opinion, false economy”.

So, there you have it. There is something in a strong brand after all then. Perhaps cheap is not always that cheerful.

Feb 13

20th & 21st March 2009
Discover how to become your own boss at The British & International Franchise Exhibition this March. Get your free entry to the show using the Chemex promotion code: CX1 on offer at www.franchiseinfo.co.uk/

Franchising is a business model that enables you to become your own boss, but with the support of an established business and brand. Visit The British & International Franchise Exhibition at Olympia London on 20 & 21 March and discover a franchise show with exhibitors from a range of franchised businesses, each offering you the chance to transform your career and run your own business.

Receive genuine franchise advice

As the ONLY franchise exhibition whose exhibitors are all British Franchise Association (bfa) approved franchises, you can be sure that the franchise opportunities, franchise advice and business guidance you receive from our exhibitors meet the bfa’s standard.

This means that every exhibitor at this London Franchise Show is supported and approved by an independent self-regulating governing body for franchising.

Is this the franchise show for me?

Visit The British & International Franchise Exhibition and you will:

* Find hundreds of ways to transform your life and career
* Discover a range of franchises in different industries, all of which are bfa-approved
* Get reliable and genuine franchise advice
* Find out how to raise finance even in a challenging economy
* Speak to successful franchisees directly

For more information please visit: www.franchiseinfo.co.uk/

Feb 9

Environmental Issues

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Articles in the press recently have highlighted the impact of sending cleaning and hygiene products half way around the globe. Since many of these products contain mainly water, it is clearly unacceptable to continue exporting in this way. Firms are now looking at how they use water and assessing the impact on the environment.

Clearly the answer must lie in shipping concentrated products with water being added in the destination country. There will always be a market for high quality cleaning products that have a strong brand name and which are often better than those produced in the country to which they are being sent. However, more and more manufacterers are looking to set up plants locally in the host country rather than continue to ship high volumes of coloured bottled water!

Concentrated chemical products shipped in large plastic tubs or drums for bottling locally mean much less packaging and fewer carbon emissions. Less space is needed which in itself results in reduced fuel charges and again, lower emissions.

You could be forgiven for thinking that everyone is jumping on the band wagon. Yes, it is true, companies like to be seen as environmentally friendly. However, this is good news for the consumer.

Concentrated cleaning products mean a reduction in the transportation of water, less physical work in their movement in and out of storage, and more storage space released for other goods. It is a win win situation for the end user.

Chemex have been shipping concentrates overseas for years. Even in the UK we only deal with concentrated cleaning and hygiene products. Once delivered the customer just adds water.

Feb 4

Waste Disposal

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There is much talk these days of environmentally friendly products, no less so in the cleaning industry. However, waste disposal affects all types of business and not just the cleaning industry which has to deal with many different types of waste.

Disposing of waste and paying for cleaning up can be a substantial cost for your business. In labour terms alone the cost of disposing of waste and cleaning up afterwards is a burden on many a company. Without doubt, any reduction in waste will improve a companies bottom line.

Lets be clear what we mean by waste. We mean the raw materials that you buy. It doesn’t matter if we are talking food, paper or chemicals. If you can reduce your costs by being less wasteful you won’t have to wait long to notice the difference in terms of profit.

Setting procedures and guidelines in your company today could be one of the most important things you do this year. We can never expect zero waste but we can be intolerant of irresponsible usage. Apart from the savings that you will make for your company you will also be doing your best for the environment.

If you are in the cleaning business make sure that your staff know how much the materials that they use cost. Keep them up to date about improvements and cost savings and praise them for helping you and your company to use less product. If it helps, and if it is appropriate, fit dispensers and dosing equipment and control the usage of chemical cleaning products by checking the dilution rates used in every day cleaning environments. It is common practice for staff to add a little extra for good measure. Make sure they don’t.

Once you have established a clear routine in your company and you can see the clear benefit of waste saving exercises you might turn your attention towards your gas and electric bill, business insurance, vehicle supplier, trade suppliers etc etc. One day in the life of your business could change it forever!

Jan 28

Bacticlean

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Bactericidal Hard Surface Cleaner

BACTICLEAN safely cleans and sanitises plastics and all hard surfaces and is particularly effective on body fats, grease and grime. It has a pleasant perfume and has been independently tested to prove its effectiveness against a range of bacteria.

Removes grime and grease

Cleans and sanitises all hard surfaces

Long lasting, pleasant fragrance

Highly economical in use

METHOD OF USE

For general purposes, pre-dilute at 10:1 and apply by spray, mop, brush or flip top bottle. Agitate and rinse off with clean water.

If BACTICLEAN is used neat, it is advisable to rinse off with clean water; for light soiling use at 20:1 dilution.

AREAS OF USE

Ideal for general-purpose use in all areas. Invaluable in a wide range of businesses including hospitals, schools, universities, colleges and hotels.

Particularly effective at removing grime and body fats in bathrooms.

Category A

Another quality product available from Chemex International Ltd