Scientific testing by an independent laboratory has proven that a specialized laundering process offered by UniFirst Corporation to clean and maintain food industry garments can reduce bacterial contamination levels on workwear by greater than 99.9 percent. Tests indicate that the UniSafe Service for food-related businesses can return employee work garments to customers hygienically clean and virtually pathogen-free.

UniFirst’s hygienic laundering process was tested by scientists at the North American Science Association (NAMSA) of Northwood, Ohio, a microbiology consulting service and Good Manufacturing Practice independent testing laboratory with expertise in contamination controls for the medical device industry. NAMSA measured reductions of some of the most common classes of pathogens found on food industry-related work apparel, including bacteria, yeasts, and molds—all recognized as dangerous sources of cross-contamination. NAMSA’s analysis demonstrates that UniFirst’s specialized garment processing can kill virtually all organisms tested.

UniFirst’s UniSafe Service for food-related businesses, offered through the company’s managed uniform rental programs, is a specialized hygienic laundering and handling service specifically designed to minimize contamination threats on garments worn by employees. Given the publicity surrounding several large-scale food contamination events, companies are increasingly concerned with controlling sources of potential cross-contamination. If work garments are not hygienically laundered with services designed specifically to eradicate risks, pathogens can remain active and may continue to be a source of contamination.

“We’re obviously pleased that our UniSafe Service passed these microbial tests with flying colors,” says Adam Soreff, director of marketing and communications for UniFirst. “The studies validate that our specialized services can effectively reduce microbiological contamination levels on related work garments, killing more than 99.9999 percent of pathogens. This is great news for our many food industry customers.”

The UniSafe Service program is based on principles set forth in Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) application guidelines, and identifies and mitigates risks involved with food contamination. “As a portal-to-portal procedure that begins at customer facilities and extends through all garment handling, laundering and finishing processes, UniFirst’s specialized program offers options that leave our customers with peace of mind when it comes to food safety,” Soreff says.

The test results are documented and available to the public in the recently published white paper “UniFirst UniSafe Service and Product Protection Process: Workwear Solutions for Food Product Safety.”

The UniSafe Service is available throughout the U.S. and Canada via more than 225 UniFirst service centers. As part of the company’s managed uniform rental service programs, food-related businesses receive scheduled pickup and deliveries, laundering, garment repairs and replacements, and overall program management. For more information visit