Environmental Public Health Journal 2018 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2018

Aerobic colony count assessment on projector remote controls at BCIT major classrooms
Classroom equipment has been linked to different outbreaks. Surfaces such as tables, chairs, keyboards can harbour pathogens such as Noro virus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Influenza A virus and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE). Bacteria and viruses can then be transferred to another individual by the mode of touch and leading to potential infections when the individual touches their mouth, nose, eyes or open wound. Institutions usually have their own cleaning and sanitation schedule that covers most of the items in a classroom. However, some common items have been overlooked. Take the project remote controls at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) for example. They are often found in filthy condition due to the amount of usage. It is unclear how many sicknesses have been the result of neglecting this device out of their daily cleaning and sanitization schedule. This paper examined the sanitation status of projector remote controls at BCIT. The focus has been placed on major classrooms and laboratories at building SW 1, SW 3 and SE 12 in BCIT. By utilizing the Aerobic Plate Count method, projector remote controls were swabbed using the wet swabbing technique. Swabs were then incubated and results in colony forming units per area in center meter square (CFU/cm2) were collected. A wide range of CFU/cm2 values were observed from projector remote controls. The maximum CFU/cm2 value obtained was 177 and the minimum value was 0. Inferential statistics was performed comparing the mean CFU/cm2 to a stand value of 5 CFU/cm2. Result showed that the mean CFU/cm2 of remote controls in SW 1, SW 3 and SE 12 at BCIT are statistically significantly more than the standard value of 5 CFU/cm2. This suggest that most of the remote controls at BCIT are not in sanitary conditions and BCIT should start to include remote controls into their daily cleaning and sanitization program to prevent students from contracting potential bacteriological infections., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Remote control, APC, Equipment, Classroom
Assessing the exposure to formaldehyde of flooring installers during the installation of laminated flooring products
Background: Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC) present in resins that bind the wood fibre core of laminated flooring products. Installation of laminate flooring involves performing certain procedures that increase the chance of formaldehyde volatilizing into the atmosphere. Exposure to formaldehyde can lead to acute health effects such as watery eyes, nausea, skin irritation, wheezing, and even death. Formaldehyde is also classified as a probable carcinogen and long-term exposure, even at lower doses, may lead to the development of cancers such as leukemia and sinus cancer. Method: GASTEC formaldehyde 91D passive dositubes were used to quantify the concentrations of formaldehyde present at laminate flooring installation job-sites. The dositubes were worn by two installers who each completed 5 flooring installations over a 15-day period. Between the two installers, there were 3 jobs using Chinese-made laminate, 3 jobs using German-made laminate, and 4 jobs using Canadian-made laminate. A fresh dositube was attached to the belt or collar of each installer at the beginning of the work day and worn while the installer was present at the job-site. In total, 30 samples were collected to which conversion factors were applied to change the units from ppm-hours to an 8-hour time-weighted average TWA. Comparisons were made between Chinese-made, Canadian-made, and German-made laminates and the mean of all 30 readings was compared to the Operational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 8-hour TWA standard of 0.75 ppm. Results: A one-sample T-test indicated that the mean concentration of formaldehyde that the test subjects were exposed did not exceed the 0.75 ppm TWA standard (p=0.000). Further analysis via ANOVA revealed that there was no statistical difference when comparing TWAs stemming from installation of Chinese-made, German-made, and Canadian-made laminate flooring (p = 0.200). Conclusion: Based on the results, it was concluded that flooring installers working for the Laminate Warehouse in Maple Ridge, BC, are not at risk of developing acute health effects from installing laminate flooring. However, the installers are still exposed to formaldehyde on a daily basis and chronic exposure could increase the risk of developing cancer. In addition, there was no observed relationship between origin of laminate flooring and levels of formaldehyde exposure., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Laminate flooring, Formaldehyde, Passive dositubes, Flooring installation, Flooring installers, Occupational hazard
Bacterial growth in personal stainless steel water bottles
Background: There is a general understanding and knowledge among reusable personal water bottle users that there are hazards, such as bacterial growth, associated with poor water bottle hygiene practices. Currently, there is no information associated with outbreaks or cases of illness stemming from poor hygiene on personal water bottles. This may be due to lack of awareness that users have become ill from their own water bottle and have failed to report it. Results from previous studies on personal water bottles have indicated that there is a relationship between higher microbiological counts and the interval between cleaning times; the longer water bottles are left unclean, the higher the microbial count. Methods: 29 randomly sampled stainless steel personal water bottles were swabbed at the mouth piece and 1 brand new personal stainless steel bottle was used as a control. Personal water bottle users were provided with an in-person electronic survey at the time of sample collection. The swabs were plated following the 3M Aerobic Plate Count method and incubated for a total of 72 hours. Plates were counted after 24 hours and 72 hours. Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the aerobic bacterial levels (CFU) of personal stainless steel water bottles that were cleaned within one day and those cleaned within a month but more than one day based on the Independent Sample T-test. There was also no statistically significance difference between the aerobic bacterial levels (CFU) of bottles that were rinsed with tap water and those cleaned with soap and water based on the Independent Sample T-test. Conclusion: Based on the results, stainless steel water bottles are not required to be cleaned frequently. It also appears that there is no difference between cleaning with soap and water and just rinsing the bottles with tap water. Despite results showing no statistical difference to support more frequent cleaning and more thorough cleaning practices, these behaviours should be encouraged to prevent and minimize the risk of potential exposure to harmful pathogens., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., hygiene, cleaning, aerobic plate count, sanitation, personal water bottle, aerobic bacteria
Biological hazards associated with microblading and evaluation of its infection control procedures and wound care
Background: Microblading is emerging as one of the fastest growing beauty trends, appearing in tattoo shops, hair salons, and even in private home studios. The procedure uses a tool with single blade to penetrate the upper layer of the dermis and deposit semi-permanent pigments to mimic hair-like strokes. This study compares the risks of microblading to those in tattooing and analyzes the similarities in order to determine the biological hazards associated with microblading. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge on microblading practices specifically, and the purpose of this study was to evaluate the level of infection control knowledge and practices in place, as well as the attitudes towards regulations in British Columbia. Method: Self-administered electronic surveys created on Google Forms were distributed to microblading establishments in B.C. through email. The survey assessed the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of microbladers in B.C. through a series of questions regarding demographics, infection control, and wound care. A list of 130 microblading establishments were contacted and asked to participate in the online survey. Results: Among the 130 microblading establishments contacted, 41 agreed to participate. The majority of microbladers had a college certificate or diploma, 1-5 years of experience, and have taken a bloodborne pathogen course. Over 31% of the participants operated both in microblading as well as permanent makeup, 27% operated solely as microbladers, and 22% of the participants had both microblading and spa operations. The most prevalent form of training was a microblading course that lasted a week or longer, and 78% of the participants felt that there should be more training required for becoming a microblader. There was no association between the years of experience and level of pathogen knowledge according to the Chi square test (p=0.78), and no association between the attitude towards regulations regarding microblading and the number of infection control measures in place (p=0.38). However, there was a statistically significant association between taking a bloodborne pathogen course and knowing the correct bloodborne pathogens of concern. Conclusion: Microbladers in British Columbia are fairly new and thus only have 1-5 years of experience, and minimal training of week-long microblading courses. A majority of them feel that more training or certification should be required and that there should be more regulations regarding microblading. The results indicated that education and training provide the most knowledge rather than years of experience. This suggests that health authorities should focus on providing more access to education for microblading, such as offering a TattooSafe program for tattooing microblading, and permanent makeup, similar to FoodSafe, and developing more material to inform microblading fact sheets., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., microbladers, micropigmentation, semi-permanent makeup, permanent makeup, tattooing, infection control, regulations, Microblading
Critical food safety violations in Surrey
Background: Foodborne illness affects 4 million (1 in 8) Canadians each year, with at least 50% of these illnesses linked to restaurants. Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) conduct routine, demand, and follow-up restaurant inspections to safeguard the public. Critical violations (CVs) must be corrected during inspection because they have a high probability of causing a foodborne illness. Examples of CVs include: previously served food not being discarded, and infrequent handwashing from employees. Previous research has shown that individuals of low socioeconomic status are more susceptible to foodborne illness. According to Statistics Canada, the poverty rate in Surrey, British Columbia, is 14.8%, which is slightly higher than the national rate of 14.2%. Unfortunately, there is limited research that assesses the safety of food service establishments in different socioeconomic neighbourhoods. This study examined the relationship between the number of CVs in chain and independent restaurants and median household income in three communities within Surrey. Methods: Secondary data was used for this study. The researcher collected publicly accessible restaurant inspection reports from the Fraser Health website. Three communities (Whalley, Fleetwood, South Surrey) within Surrey were selected for comparison according to their median household income (from City of Surrey Community Demographic Profiles webpage). Whalley and South Surrey had the lowest and highest median household income, respectively. Fleetwood was chosen based on its proximity to the median household income for Surrey. The researcher then recorded the name and restaurant type within these communities using Zomato. 25 chain and 25 independent restaurants were randomly selected in each community. In total, 150 restaurants were analyzed. The number of CVs, violation code, and hazard rating were compared between January 2016 and December 2017. Results: Independent restaurants were found to have more CVs than chain restaurants in all communities. There was an association between the number of CVs observed in both types of restaurants and the restaurant's hazard rating. The p-values for chain restaurants in Whalley, Fleetwood, and South Surrey are: 0.00, 0.00006, and 0.00, respectively. Meanwhile the p-values for independent restaurants in all three communities are 0.00. In general, independent restaurants had more moderate or high hazard ratings than chain restaurants. The top four CVs found in all communities were related to poor sanitation of equipment, improper storage of cold potentially hazardous foods,and lack of adequate handwashing stations. Finally, a negative correlation was observed between the number of CVs in both restaurant types and the neighbourhood median household income (p-value for chain and independent restaurants = 0.0186 and 0.0073, respectively). Conclusion: The findings indicate that communities with lower median household income had more CVs. Further research is needed to analyze this relationship. In addition, chain restaurants have fewer CVs than independent restaurants possibly due to their internal food safety monitoring systems. Therefore, independent restaurants may benefit from more education because this pattern has been observed in the past. Finally, an educational intervention is potentially necessary for restaurant operators in Surrey to reduce the top four CVs, thereby improving the restaurants' hazard rating., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Critical Violations, Restaurant Inspections, Restaurant Type, Chain Restaurants, Independent Restaurants, Food Safety, Foodborne illness, Median Household Income, Fraser Health Authority
Evaluating the effectiveness of cleaning with detergent soap alone verses detergent soap followed by sanitizer on reducing aerobic microorganism numbers that are present on food contact surfaces
Background: Cross-contamination is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness which poses a massive burden to an individual’s health and to the healthcare system. One way to prevent cross-contamination is through the elimination of pathogens from surfaces by properly washing with a detergent soap followed by sanitizing with a sanitizer. However, as found from a previous research study, not all restaurants in British Columbia wash and sanitize their food contact surfaces. Thus, this study aims to compare the cleaning effectiveness between using detergent soap alone verses using detergent soap followed by sanitizer. Methods: Aerobic organisms were introduced to a cutting board by cutting alfalfa sprouts and then the surface was cleaned with Dawn Detergent soap and sanitized with 200ppm of chlorine bleach sanitizing solution. 3M™ Quick Swabs were used to sample the aerobic organisms (colony forming units) prior to and after each method of cleaning. The swabs were then transferred to 3M™ Petrifilm Plates, incubated at room temperature for 4 days, and then enumerated. Results: The results show that there is a statistically significant greater microbial reduction through cleaning with detergent soap followed by sanitizer (mean log microbial reduction of 4.10) as compared to cleaning with detergent soap alone (mean log microbial reduction of 3.53). The p-value obtained is 0.003843 when α=0.05. The power was determined to be 92%. Conclusions: This study was able to conclude that cleaning with detergent soap followed by sanitizer is 0.57 log (mean log microbial reduction of 4.10 - mean log microbial reduction of 3.53) more effective at cleaning than using detergent soap alone. However, the specific log microbial reduction value for the detergent soap followed by sanitizer achieved in this study is lower than what is found in the previous studies (Gilbert, 1970; Sores et al., 2012; Rossvoll et al., 2015). A possible reason for this discrepancy may be due to the presence of soil and food debris on the surface which may have had interfered with the sanitizing ability of the chlorine bleach (Lee et al., 2007)., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Aerobic organism, Colony forming unit, Chlorine bleach, Sanitizer, Sanitizing, Detergent soap, Cleaning, Cutting board, Food contact surface, Cross-contamination, Foodborne illness, Cleaning methods, Log reduction
Evaluating the efficiency of chlorine removal from potable tap water using off-gassing, boiling, and filtration treatment methods
Background: One of the most frequent complaints to water distribution systems is the taste and odor of chlorine in consumer tap water. Chlorine is a common disinfectant used to inactivate and breakdown microbes and other contaminants. However, excess chlorine can result in an unpalatable chlorinous taste and odor. When water taste becomes too objectionable, consumers may search for alternative water sources, such as raw, untreated water that does not contain chemical additives. Raw, untreated water contains various contaminants, including disease-causing pathogens. To encourage consumers to drink treated tap water, and prevent disease, this study evaluated and compared the effectiveness of off-gassing, boiling and filtration as dechlorination methods for consumers to perform on their tap water. Method: Hach Method 8021 was performed to collect and analyse water samples following treatment with Off-gassing, Boiling and Filtration. Water samples were collected from BCIT SW1-1230. The Hach Pocket Colorimeter ™ II determined the free chlorine concentration of the water samples, and compared to a sample of untreated chlorinated tap water to see which method reduced chlorine concentrations the most. Results: Mean concentration of chlorine following off-gassing was determined to be 0.51 ppm, 0.24 ppm following boiling, and 0.55 ppm following filtration. It was determined that the boiling method was statistically significantly different from the mean values of chlorine concentration from the other two methods, as shown by the Kruskal-wallis test (P=0.000), and therefore was the most effective in dechlorinating tap water samples. This was further confirmed by the Scheffe’s Mutliple-Comparison Test and eyeball test. Conclusion: Based on the results, boiling water is the most effective method to dechlorinate potable tap water for consumer acceptability. The free chlorine levels found post-boiling were also found to be below the WHO’s threshold for tasting and smelling chlorine in drinking water (0.3 ppm), and above WHO’s minimum required 0.2 ppm chlorine residual. Therefore, drinking water following boiling will be safe for consumption, as well as free of chlorinous taste and smell. Public Health professionals can safely advise consumers of an effective method to encourage treated tap water consumption, and to discourage finding alternative water sources., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Free chlorine, Boiling, Off-gassing, Filtration, Dechlorination, Chlorine residual
The evaluation of factors affecting the pre-swim shower behaviors of pool patrons
Background: The hygiene practices of pool patrons are important in maintaining water quality as well as patron health and safety. Poor practices, such as not taking a pre-swim shower, can introduce additional contaminants, which will then react with the free available chlorine to form disinfection by products (DBPs). Not only will excess contaminants decrease the free available chlorine but it will also cause a copious amount of DBPs to be formed. DBPs are known to cause eye and skin irritation, an unpleasant odor, and may cause additional respiratory issues. Therefore, in the interest of public health the number of contaminants introduced into the water should be minimized, which can be done through improving the hygiene practices of patrons. This study investigated factors that may affect pre-swim shower frequencies among aquatic facility patrons. Methods: Data from 78 respondents to a self-administered electronic survey were used in this study. The survey evaluated respondents’ knowledge of pool related illnesses, knowledge of proper aquatic facility hygiene practices and their attitudes toward these practices. Results were analyzed using one-way ANOVA, chi squared test and independent samples t-test. Results: The only statistically significant relationship found was an association between the how often an individual used aquatic facilities and their pre-swim shower frequency; frequent aquatic facility users were found to rarely/never take a pre-swim shower (p = 0.049). As well, factors such as knowledge of pool related illnesses, knowledge of proper hygiene practices, age, and if an individual had read the pool rules were not found to be related to pre-swim shower frequency. Conclusion: The results indicate that educational campaigns aimed at increasing the public knowledge of pool related illnesses and proper pool hygiene practices may not increase pre-swim shower frequencies. Results from this study also indicate that if the showers were cleaner, warmer, and or more private, pre-swim shower frequencies may increase. As well, 79.5% of respondents knew that taking a pre-swim shower is required and 52.6% of participants indicated that they would improve their hygiene practices if consequences were implemented. Taken together, this may suggest that the physical layout of the showering facilities within a swimming pool complex may influence showering behaviour, and greater enforcement of pool rules may be needed in order to increase pre-swim shower frequency., Peer reviewed, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Pool, Aquatic facility, Pre-swim shower, Pool hygiene practices
An evaluation of the knowledge and practices of Metro Vancouver residents regarding mould
Background: The average Canadian spends approximately 90% of their day indoors, a proportion of which may be in public spaces, thereby making Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) a pertinent topic for the fields of Public and Environmental Health. Mould complaints are one of the top IAQ complaints received by Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) in BC. Mould is ubiquitous in both the outdoor and indoor environment. However, once indoors, mould will grow unhindered on most surfaces as long as moisture is present. Accumulating evidence has established relationships between indoor environments and health. Thanks to the Internet, the amount of readily available information regarding mould today is vast but may not necessarily be valid nor reliable. It is important, therefore, to consider what the public does or does not know and where they are getting their information. This study evaluated the public perception of Metro Vancouver residents in regards to mould as an IAQ issue in order to provide Public and Environmental Health practitioners, including EHOs, with a deeper understanding of how to effectively address queries from the public regarding this topic. Methods: Data for this study was collected through a self-administered online questionnaire and disseminated using social media and the snowball effect. Questions were designed to collect demographic information and evaluate the knowledge and attitudes as well as the behaviour and practices of participants. Descriptive and inferential statistics, specifically the independent samples t-test and the analysis of variance (ANOVA), were used to analyze the results. Results: With an average 14.59 out of 20 points, respondent knowledge scores were, in general, fair. There was no statistically significant difference between respondent knowledge score and their gender, age, level of education, income or housing status. Conclusions: Although respondent knowledge scores were fair, a few gaps in knowledge were identified. Further, most of the sample population did not know specifically where to access reliable information on mould. These insights may be useful for Public and Environmental Health professionals when addressing queries from the public regarding this topic., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Mould, Mold, Indoor air quality, Indoor environment, Environmental health, Public health, Knowledge, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia
Gaps and common misconceptions in public’s food safety knowledge
Background: Incidence rates of some foodborne illnesses (FBIs) in BC still remain on the rise despite numerous initiatives to prevent FBIs. This rise over the years has been attributed to gaps in the public’s food-safety knowledge and practices. In order to decrease incidence rates and prevent future FBIs, efforts should be made to identify common misconceptions in the public’s food safety knowledge. With a focus on the Metro Vancouver population, common misconceptions in food safety were found and their knowledge level towards the misconceptions was analyzed. Methods: An in-person survey was conducted in three locations in Metro Vancouver. The survey asked for demographics information, perceived food safety knowledge and food safety misconceptions. ANOVA and Independent Sample T-test were administered to analyze results. Results: No statistically significant difference in food safety knowledge was found between groups by gender, age, and geographic region. The majority of participants rated their food safety knowledge as moderate but they demonstrated a poor knowledge level in food safety. Conclusion: The public’s knowledge level should be improved to prevent further rises of FBIs. Initiatives involving the provincial Foodsafe certification program, secondary school curriculums and health authority websites can be utilized to educate the public., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Food safety, Misconceptions, Knowledge, Foodborne illness
General radon gas knowledge test assessment for BCIT students
Background Vancouver is located in a generally low-radon hazard zone. However, other parts of British Columbia such as the BC Interior or Northern BC are classified as high-radon hazard zone (or zone 1) due to the geological composition of rocks and soils in those areas. Despite the significant health risks associated with radon gas exposure, many BC residents and people across Canada have little to no knowledge regarding the topic. Since Post-secondary schools, such as the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), are places where knowledge is distributed and shared to our societies, it is important to assess students’ general knowledge background regarding radon gas. The result can then be extrapolated to the general populations. Methods An electronic survey was conducted to determine whether students in the six schools at BCIT have different background knowledge level regarding radon gas. The survey also determines students’ radon background knowledge based on different geographic regions they reside. The survey was conducted in-person at three main locations across BCIT’s Burnaby campus. It was administered using Google Forms and distributed to participants on Microsoft Surface 2. Results The One-way ANOVA statistical analysis result indicated that there is a significant difference in mean radon survey scores among the six various BCIT schools(p=0.009). In addition, the Tukey Test revealed that students from the School of Health Science have an average radon survey score which is significantly different when compared to students from the School of Business. However, it was found that there is no significant difference in the mean radon survey scores between the School of Business and other schools at BCIT. Nonetheless, it was evident that the School of Health Science students had relatively higher radon survey scores and thus, were more knowledgeable regarding radon gas compared to students from the other five schools. When analyzing survey scores among students residing in various geographic regions, the test showed that there is no significant difference in mean radon survey scores among BCIT students living in various geographic locations(p=0.46). Conclusion Based on the result of the study, the result showed that there is a significant difference in radon gas knowledge among BCIT students who majored in different schools. The School of Health Science students were more knowledgeable regarding the topic of radon gas compared to students in other schools. Nonetheless, all BCIT students achieved an average radon survey score of less than five out of ten, which was considered a failure score (Less than five out of ten). This showed that most BCIT students had very limited knowledge regarding radon gas and there were very limited amount of educational initiatives or campaigns available for students at BCIT. BCIT’s student association is recommended to create educational sessions across campus to raise student awareness regarding radon gas. At the community level, governments and various agencies such as the BC Lung Association need to work together to create radon awareness campaigns across BC and the rest of Canada. In order to get a more accurate representation of the radon gas knowledge level among people in BC, more research studies need to be conducted in other schools or general population groups., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Radon, Survey, School, BC, Knowledge, Lung, Cancer, Risk
Impact of overcrowding sous vide water baths on the thermal process of pork loins
Background: In the culinary industry, sous vide is a popular cooking method in which lower temperatures are used to cook food to retain more desirable organoleptic characteristics. However, this technique may compromise food safety as the temperature may not be sufficient enough to eliminate pathogens that may be present. The BCCDC’s Guidelines for Restaurant Sous Vide Cooking Safety in British Columbia advises when too many food items are placed in the sous vide water bath, inadequate water circulation may occur with the result that process lethality, measured by calculation of log10 reductions, may not be achieved. The purpose of this study was to determine how overcrowding a sous vide water bath would impact the thermal process of pork loins. Methods: Each pork loin sample had a SmartButton inserted and was vacuum sealed in a plastic bag. The water bath was preheated to 60˚C by an immersion circulator. Under normal conditions, six pork loin samples were held in the water bath for 1 hour and the process was repeated four more times. Under overcrowded conditions, two runs were conducted for 1.5 to 2 hours, each consisting of 15 samples stacked in three layers. SmartButton temperature values were used to calculate whether a 6.5 log10 reduction for Salmonella spp. was achieved, using the American Meat Institute’s formula. Results: Using a 31-minute cook time, pork loins in normal conditions reached an average log reduction of 8.85 (range: 0.51 to 21.07), which was significantly higher than the 6.5 log10 reduction objective (p = 0.006). Conversely, pork loins in overcrowded conditions reached an average log reduction of 1.76 (range: 0.05 to 7.93), which was significantly lower than the 6.5 log10 reduction objective (p = 0.000). Furthermore, cooking lethality between the two conditions, pork loins in crowded and overcrowded conditions, were found to be significantly different from each other (p = 0.000). No differences were found in the mean log10 reductions between the pork loins placed in each of the three layers in an overcrowded water bath at 31 minutes (p = 0.094). Conclusion: Overcrowding sous vide water baths does impact on the thermal process of pork loins. Food products cooked under overcrowded conditions require a longer cook time, (approximately 30 minutes longer) to achieve at least 6.5 log10 reductions. Therefore, it is advised that food handlers using sous vide techniques should avoid overcrowding sous vide water baths. Further research using more samples is recommended to determine potential cold spot patterns in overcrowded water baths due to inadequate water circulation., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Sous vide, overcrowding, water bath, pork loin, temperature, public health