A group of organizations in Buncombe County have teamed up to produce, package, and test hand sanitizers that were donated to Buncombe County Emergency Medical Services.
“We had an interesting collaboration between H & H Distillery, Blue Ridge Food Ventures, and the BioNetwork at A-B Tech,” said Chris Reedy, Director of Food, Beverage and Natural Products with BioNetwork.
The sanitizer was made by Cultivated Cocktails Distillery, formerly H&H. Staff at Blue Ridge Food Ventures, which is housed at A-B Tech Enka, bottled the sanitizer into smaller, more manageable packaging. Celtic Sea Salt donated 2,000 8-ounce bottles for the effort. A-B Tech’s Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast will be involved with future production.
Reedy provided the final step of testing the alcohol volume of the product. “It passed with flying colors with over 70% alcohol,” he said. The CDC recommends a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Staff at Blue Ridge Food Ventures worked on the organization’s bottling line to fill, cap, and label hand sanitizer in 6-oz, 8-oz, and 16-oz bottles, as well as five-gallon dispensers for refilling empty bottles.
Tommy Ingallinera, facilities operations manager for Blue Ridge Food Ventures, coordinated production with Shannon Buchanan of Buncombe County EMS. “I’m really glad our staff were able to help Buncombe EMS in this time of need,” Ingallinera said. “It’s nice to know that we have the capacity and equipment to help out in an emergency like this.”
Production of hand sanitizer to date:
- April 2 – 600 bottles at 6 oz. each
- April 6 – 1,003 bottles at 8 oz. each
- April 20 – 76 5-gallon jugs
- April 21 – 1,526 bottles at 16 oz. each
Thus, 661 gallons that have been packed so far, and several hundred gallons still in totes should be packed over the next few weeks.