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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Health Care laundries are required by today’s Infection Control professionals to guarantee that their linens are processed to a higher standard of clean. This is due to the ultimate cost of Healthcare Acquired Infections or HAIs. In a 2009 study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control it is estimated that the overall annual direct medical costs of HAIs to U.S. Hospitals ranges from $28.4 to $33.8 Billion. This same report estimates that the savings that can be gained from implementing an effective infection control program, including an improved laundry process, range from $5.7 to $6.8 Billion annually.

While there is no specific definition of “clean” in U.S. regulatory rulings, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides us some guidance through the acceptance, approval and registration of products for sanitization and disinfection properties. The EPA is the only regulatory body in the US to have authority concerning products that claim to have antimicrobial activity. These higher standards are defined as Sanitizers which reduce bacterial organism levels by 99.9% and Disinfectants which provide a 99.999% kill of bacterial organisms.

Today, full knowledge of this hierarchy of clean and implementation of control programs that reduce HAIs is a major goal of the over 5000 healthcare facilities enrolled in the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Understanding the difference between disinfection and merely being hygienically clean is paramount to Infection Control Professionals, the safety of their patients and the health of their facility’s bottom line.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Russ Maziarka is a Senior Marketing Manager with Ecolab Textile Care

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Gulf Coast Laundry Acquired by Swisher Hygine

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Swisher Hygiene Inc., a provider of hygiene and sanitation products and services, announced that it acquired Gulf Coast Laundry Services of Mississippi, LLC (“Gulf Coast Laundry Services”), a Mississippibased linen services company.

Gulf Coast Laundry Services provides linen rental and laundry services throughout southern Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, primarily to hotel, casino and resort customers. Concurrent with the acquisition, the founder of Gulf Coast Laundry Services, David Gross, will join Swisher Hygiene and contribute to the continued growth of its linen services business.

Total consideration paid by Swisher Hygiene in connection with the acquisition includes approximately $4.8 million in cash and the issuance of a convertible promissory note which may be converted into a maximum of 350,000 shares of Swisher Hygiene common stock subject to certain restrictions, including acceptance by the Toronto Stock Exchange.