Amidst the Coronovirus Pandemic, UK witnessed another viral infection called the Norovirus, and it has been spreading like wildfire. It is the most common food-borne virus, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA) says 1 in 6 Americans are going to come in its contact. Similarly, Salmonella and E-Coli are also major culprits in gastroential infections faces in the United Kingdom.
This microbes manifest themselves in contaminated food prep areas. The countertop you use, food processing equipments, kitchen wipes and textiles play an important role in the prevention of Norovirus and other food-borne illnesses.
How can microbes spread on Countertops?
Countertops are hard solid surfaces. So you may wonder how can viruses and bacteria boom on them. Microbes thrive on the tiny crevices on the surface. Those stains, cracks, chips on your worktops are the blossoming microbial colonies. The food we spill, oil, and moisture that precipitate down on the surfaces is enough to feed these microbial colonies.
Even if you clean your entire worktop with bleach, there is still a chance you left a few hundred bacteria, which can soon multiply rapidly and leave your countertop infected.
However, some countertops are antimicrobial, which means they actively prevent the fostering of bacteria and viruses. This is achieved by making them absolutely sturdy and non-porous or using anti-microbial agents as surface treatments or in binding resins.
Here is a selection of antimicrobial countertops that you should check out:
Silestone Anti-Microbial Worktops
Silestone quartz worktops come with antimicrobial elements baked into the countertops. Silestone® antibacterial quartz surfaces are a popular choice for families and business preferring a quartz countertop.
Silestone prevents the generation of bacteria and viruses, so you don’t have to worry about infections. If anti-microbial protestion is your first priority, Silestone should be the countertop of your choice.
Corian Health Care Grade Wroktops
Corian antimicrobial worktops are fit for hospitals and research labs because of their excellent non-porous, stain resistant properties. Corian surfaces are LGA certified for hygienic properties (stability against bacteria and fungi according to European standard DIN EN ISO 846).
These are extremely useful in environments with high traffic and high damage risks. Corian performs much better than natural stone or laminate worktops.
Single Material Metal Surfaces – Copper & Stainless Steel
Copper is coming back to the countertop market with a bang. Copper countertops have a unique ability to kill bacteria on contact, and that’s why it is one of the trendiest countertops in the market. Copper worktops have been known to kill the Norovirus instantly.
Copper is used in hospitals, training rooms of a professional sports team, and premium restaurants and hotels. Stainless steel countertops also have similar anitmicrobial properties but they are not as effective as copper.
The Department of Defense has also launched a trial on how copper can prevent acinetobacter, which is an infection-causing germ in critically ill patients such as soldiers recovering from battle wounds. Copper is not yet a popular kitchen worktop in the UK.
Some Laminate worktop brands calim to provide antimicrobial properties. They achieve this by adding approved biocides in the final resin bath process. There are alternative processes like surface treatments that are done on a regular basis.
However, Laminate worktops, are not as hard as Metals or Quartz or Granite and therefore are not as strong against stains and chipping. They can be easily affected by liquids and they swell or stain and become a harbour for microbial growth.