Industry News | September 27, 2012 | QSR Exclusive Brief

Not Cleaning Your Soda Fountain? It's Time to Start

Century Products LLC's soda-fountain brush.
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Research shows regular cleaning with products as simple as a tiny brush could be the difference between sickness and health for beverage consumers in the quick-service industry.

In a study conducted by a Hollins University research team, several beverages obtained from soda-fountain machines in fast-food restaurants were found to be harboring microorganisms, including coliform, which poses a serious health threat if consumed.

In the study’s findings, the research team attributed the potential for diseases to poor cleaning of the soda-fountain dispensers. The research team called for restaurants to take action by making sure to thoroughly clean the nozzles.

Century Products LLC, a cleaning solutions company based in Greensboro, North Carolina, has since worked with Ecolab to develop a brush designed specifically for scrubbing the nozzles of soda-fountain machines.

“We discovered that part of the problem was the inability to clean the nozzle properly on the dispensing machines,” says Blairton Hampton, CEO of Century Products, about working with the lab to design the new Beverage Tower Brush.  “Whereas Ecolab had the chemicals to clean it, they were still not able to with the current brushes that they were using in the system. … They did not have the proper brush to really get in there and clean that nozzle.”

Hampton says generic brushes for cleaning nozzles, which resemble pipe cleaners, have been inadequate since there are five different nozzle types used for U.S. soda-fountain machines.
After a year of development and working with Ecolab, Century Products released the Beverage Tower Brush to the U.S. market in July, and Hampton believes the new brush could be sold internationally as soon as the first quarter of next year.

“We’re the only one who makes the brush right now … and we own the rights through the manufacturer for it,” Hampton says. “We think it is a very important product because it does help protect the customer from being infected from the bacteria that could grow within that nozzle.”

By Laurel Nakkas