In response to the alarming shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) nationwide, Carnivore Meat Company has donated the use of its ultraviolet (UV) sterilization machine to sanitize and disinfect much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line medical and public service workers throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Carnivore Meat Company is the maker of raw pet food brands Vital Essentials and Vital Cat.
Using this process, a single mask may be sterilized up to five times through the UV machine and full utilization of the machine’s capacity could yield up to 1.4 million clean masks per week. The sterilization machine also lessens the need for new masks and could potentially result in cost savings of $2 million per week.
Lanny Viegut, the company’s CEO and owner, acted quickly after hearing President Trump’s March 21 press briefing where he challenged Americans to figure out how to get equipment 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,” stated Viegut. “I contacted the CEO of a local health care provider and offered the use our equipment for as long as needed.”
The machine was transferred to a designated site for set-up, training and testing in preparations to become 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,” Viegut says. “The UV machine did its job, resulting in masks that are sanitized and ready for use by healthcare and first responders.”
On March 29, the facility became the first-known fully operational, in-line UV PPE sterilizing operation in the United States. “Carnivore Meat Company’s UV machine is an efficient, continuous conveyor driven machine that is designed to run 24/7," Viegut stated.
“I urge all companies to review their asset list and check their warehouses for sterilization and sanitation equipment that could potentially be used to aid America in its fight against the coronavirus,” Viegut says. “There are likely other UV machines in the US that could be repurposed to sterilize PPE for public safety and healthcare workers during the pandemic.”
This service donation follows the recent announcement of the Vital Relief Challenge as part of the company’s COVID-19 community response plan, which kicked off with a $100,000 donation to Green Bay food banks and shelters.
More information about this initiative is available in this interview with Lanny Viegut.