GREEN BAY WI (April 8, 2020)– Lanny Viegut, CEO and owner of Carnivore Meat Company, collaborated with numerous agencies and organizations to establish the first-known UV PPE sterilization operation in the United States to sanitize masks for healthcare and front-line responders.
Viegut discusses the genesis of this collaboration and early outcomes to help lessen the demand for masks in the greater Green Bay area.
What motivated you to donate the use of the UV equipment?
I was moved to find a way to help rectify the mask shortage after hearing President Trump’s March 21 press briefing where he challenged Americans to figure out how to get masks sanitized to protect healthcare workers. I immediately thought of the brand-new UV sterilization chamber we had available, and that the machine could surely be used to sterilize masks and other PPE.
Tell us about your Company’s investment in a UV machine.
Our company manufactures leading raw pet food brands Vital Essentials® and Vital Cat®, where food safety is paramount. We had invested in the UV machine to bolster our already highly effective food safety system. The machine was brand new, never been used and was waiting to be commissioned.
What were your next steps in getting this equipment deployed for the purpose of sterilizing masks?
I immediately contacted the CEO of a local health care provider and offered the use of our UV machine for mask and PPE sterilization for as long as it was needed. Under the guidance of our top engineer and Afghan War Veteran, Craig Rozek, the machine was relocated to a designated site for set-up, training and testing, in accordance with CDC guidance, which ultimately developed into a fully operational PPE sterilization facility.
All this was accomplished in less than a week! It was quite an effort and the end results are amazing. The UV machine did its job, resulting in masks that are sanitized. All masks are returned and ready for use with 24 hours.
What are some results from this facility and UV sterilization?
After thorough testing of the masks processed using the UV machine, it was found that the masks were fully sanitized, clean and ready for use. A single mask may be sterilized up to five times, which will ultimately lessen the need for new masks as we are in the critical stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.
What process is being followed for sterilization?
A network of delivery vans has been created for daily transport of masks to and from the facility for Northeast Wisconsin fire departments, police departments, emergency responders and various health care providers for sanitizing and disinfection. Individuals place their masks into a paper bag, which has their name and pertinent information on the outside. Couriers pick up from various facilities throughout greater Green Bay and deliver the items to the sterilization facilities. The items are then run through the UV process and into a “clean room” where they are placed into sterile bags and returned to each location for immediate use.
What else has Carnivore Meat Company done in response to the COVID-19 outbreak?
Donating the use of Carnivore Meat Company’s UV machine is only one element of our COVID-19 response plan. We have also donated $100,000 to Green Bay, Wisconsin nonprofit organizations and started a Vital Relief Challenge to encourage other businesses to donate if they are able. It’s important for businesses to be involved in helping our community during these trying times. I believe the steps we’re taking as part of our COVID-19 Response Plan can make a huge difference in communities all across the US and could potentially help save lives.
How can others help?
I implore other companies, especially those in food or beverage production, to take a look at their sterilization and sanitation equipment and determine if any can potentially be used to aid America in its fight against the coronavirus. There are likely other UV machines in the US that could be repurposed to sterilize masks or other PPE for public safety and healthcare workers during the pandemic.
About Carnivore Meat Company
Carnivore Meat Company is an award-winning manufacturer of premium raw frozen and freeze-dried pet food and treats. The Green Bay, Wisconsin company’s rapidly growing brands include Vital Essentials®, VE RAW BAR and Vital Cat®, which are distributed to over 6,000 retailers nationwide, in 14 international markets and online to Chewy.com, Amazon, PetFlow.com and others. Long considered a raw pet food pioneer, the company’s freeze-dried products division supplies private label, co-packing and ingredients to customers globally. Carnivore Meat Company is family owned and has been recognized for its growth accomplishments and manufacturing excellence with a number of awards in recent years, including Greater Green Bay Chamber Growth Award, Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award, Governor’s Export Achievement Award, Greater Green Bay Chamber Manufacturing Award of Distinction and Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies. www.carnivoremeat.com
Media Contact: Melissa Olson | email@example.com
Dir: 920-367-4063 | Cell: 920-615-2460
Mail: Vital Essentials, P.O. Box 9227, Green Bay, WI 54308-9227