Lonza: microbial contamination focus following pathogen outbreak

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Lonza: microbial contamination focus following pathogen outbreak
Ingredients player Lonza has emphasised the importance of preventing microbial contamination.

It says there is a need to use targeted, compatible and effective preservatives in consumer products.

This need has been highlighted by recent personal care product recalls due to contamination with the pathogenic Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia cepacia.

In May 2018 a skin-cleansing foam was recalled due to a Burkholderia cepacia outbreak across a number of U.S. states, the firm notes.

Going further back, Lonza recalls that topical skin-protectant cloths were recalled in multiple countries in August 2016 and baby wipes were recalled in the United States in October 2014 as a result of previous contamination scares involving this same organism.

Microbial contamination caused by species like Burkholderia cepacia in consumer products is a key public health issue​,” said Phil Hindley, Head of Global Marketing, Preservation, Lonza.

The company suggests that preservatives are an essential way of protecting against this kind of contamination.

Lonza’s personal care business leads particularly in the area of antidandruff active agents, and the company also supplies hair and skin care products, including a focus on biotechnology-derived active ingredients for naturals and organics.

Public relations focus

On top of being a basic health and safety issue, Lonza suggests that contamination of products and the recall that requires can prove bad business for a brand’s image, and be a significant logistical undertaking.

The resulting recall can become a critical business issue, with negative impacts associated with the management of the recall, including physical loss of product and packaging, additional shipping requirements, destruction and disposal of product, and potential damage to brand equity,​” confirms Hindley.

Keeping cosmetics safe

The FDA is one regulatory body that has released guidelines on cosmetics product safety, outlining several ways a cosmetic can become contaminated with microorganisms:

  • “Contaminated raw materials, water or other ingredients;

  • Poor manufacturing conditions;

  • Ingredients that encourage growth of microorganisms, without an effective preservative system;

  • Packaging that doesn’t protect a product adequately;

  • Poor shipping or storage conditions;

  • Consumer use, such as the need to dip fingers into the product.

Lonza says it is one ingredients player in the personal care industry that is committed to supporting the global consumer product industry and the finished product manufacturers by offering an array of preservatives for use in cosmetics and other consumer products.

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