Koch Tries Its Hand at Carpet Cleaners.
Group owned by conservative billionaire brothers tries to unify workings of its disparate businesses
Koch Industries Inc., a conglomerate owned and run by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, is making a push into the household-cleaner business, taking aim at industry stalwarts such as Procter & Gamble Co. and Clorox Co.
One of the largest private companies in the world, Koch is launching a carpet-cleaner line that will be sold under the Stainmaster brand. The product is the result of a pairing between two Koch companies: Invista, which makes Stainmaster carpet and upholstery, and Georgia-Pacific, maker of Dixie paper products, Angel Soft toilet paper and Brawny paper towels.
It is Koch’s first foray into the $25 billion U.S. household-cleaning market, and executives say they have several more products in development.
The cleaner will go up against British consumer-products company Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, the maker of Resolve, which has a roughly 24% share of the $360 million U.S. carpet-cleaning market, according to Euromonitor.
The Stainmaster cleaner went on sale in recent weeks at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a number of grocers and about 30 Lowe’s Cos. locations. A national rollout is planned for later this month.
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‘Five-Second Rule’ for Food on Floor Is Untrue, Study Finds
You may think your floors are so clean you can eat off them, but a new study debunking the so-called five-second rule would suggest otherwise.
Professor Donald W. Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said a two-year study he led concluded that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it.
The findings in the report — “Is the Five-Second Rule Real?” — appeared online this month in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Researchers at Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences in England reported in 2014 that food picked up a few seconds after being dropped is “less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time,” giving rise to news accounts suggesting that eating the food might be harmless. Those findings, and research done at the University of Illinois in 2003, did not appear in a peer-reviewed journal, Professor Schaffner noted.
Even though the five-second rule is a bit of folklore, it still raised important public health issues that demanded closer scrutiny, he said. He cited research by the Centers for Disease Control, which found that surface cross-contamination was the sixth most common contributing factor out of 32 in outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.
Where did the rule get its start?
The history of the five-second rule is difficult to trace but it is attributed apocryphally to Genghis Khan, who declared that food could be on the ground for five hours and still be safe to eat, Professor Schaffner said.
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