How to Use Disinfectants and Sanitizers in Food Premises

Business Published at: 19 May, 2020

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 illnesses. Recent research shows that the primary modes of transmission include respiratory droplets and other body fluids when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Respiratory droplets also contaminate surfaces and objects in the premises such as door knobs, light switches, floors, blinds, countertops, handrails, taps etc. research also revealed that the virus can remain stable on surfaces and objects from several hours to several days, depending on the material of the surface or item.

Coronavirus on Surfaces

Surfaces where virus stays could be both hard non-porous surfaces and soft porous surfaces. Hard surfaces like door knobs, chairs, countertops, shelves, and light switches can be contaminated with soiled hands and body secretions by infected person. While knowledge about this emerging pandemic is continuously evolving, the most recent research discovered that coronavirus can survive on copper up to 4 hours, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel. The prevention against pathogen include frequent cleaning and decontamination with disinfectant airless sprayer and antiseptic solutions, proper etiquette such as sneezing and coughing into elbows, and proper hand hygiene practices.

At present, there is no evidence to demonstrate that viral transmission is possible by eating contaminated food. However, food packaging may potentially become contaminated so it is crucial to practice robust hand hygiene after handling groceries and food delivery items. Staff in the restaurants and bakeries should frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. In addition, staff should also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. However, chefs that are directly contributed in preparing meals should only use soap and water.

Cleaners, Sanitizers, and Disinfectants

The toxicological risks vary between products used on food contact and on environmental surfaces. Therefore, the testing standards and methods used in regulating and approving products also vary. The types of disinfectant and sanitization products in food premises can be distinguished by their intended use and ability to kill pathogens:

  • Cleaners and detergents are used to clean soiled surfaces and objects. As debris such as dirt and grim may decrease the effectiveness of disinfectant and sanitizers, so it is important to physically or chemically decontaminate visibly soiled areas.
  • Sanitizers reduce, but not effectively eliminate all the bacteria on surfaces. It is recommended to use special food contact sanitizers with disinfectants in food production facilities.
  • Disinfectant solutions include bactericides, fungicides, virucides, tuberculocides, mycobatericides and sterilants. These disinfectants have greater ability to exterminate microorganisms depending on their intended use and efficiency to kill different types of bacteria and viruses. In order to disinfect food premises that are contaminated with coronavirus, the disinfectant products must be approved for such use. It is also important to ensure its effectiveness by following manufacturer instructions, including concentrations and contact time.

Cleaning and Disinfection Program in Food Premises

This program includes identifying areas, equipment, areas that require proper cleaning and disinfection and the different types of products used for cleaning and sanitizing/disinfecting. Food premise operators should monitor the existing cleaning programs to identify the surfaces that need increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection. In addition, they should utilize the disinfectants that are approved for use against coronavirus.

It is highly recommended to frequently clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces such as food prep tables, shelves, cabinet and drawer handles, kitchens, dishes, and packaging areas. It is also essential to keep exposed customer service area cleaned and decontaminated with disinfectant sprayer gun. Sanitization of non-food contact surfaces that are frequently touched such as menus, chairs, dining areas, bathrooms, hand-held POS devices, and door knobs should be done with approved disinfectant product everything is available in online store online Marketing Place.

Bleach is considered as a powerful disinfectant if used at 1000-5000 ppm solution with 10 minute contact time. Coronavirus germs can be inactivated with a 500-1000 ppm bleach solution. Other pathogens such as norovirus may require 5000 ppm bleach solution to be inactivated. Avoid mixing disinfectant products as this could be dangerous for humans. When bleach is combined with ammonium compounds, it produces chloramine gases. Exposure to such gases can be harmful as they cause coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and vomiting. If you combine bleach solution with acids that are found in vinegar, drain cleaners, dishwasher detergents, and some toilet bowl cleaners, they could produce chlorine gas. This gas also cause coughing, breathing issues, burning and watery eyes and a runny nose. When chlorine gas mixed with water, hydrochloric acid is produced which causes burning in skin, eyes, nose, throat, mouth and lungs. Thus, health authorities should use stringent safety, efficacy, quality, and labelling regulations and standards to approve disinfectant products. These products should be used with proper safety guidelines and instructions. Also, consumers are advised to check products using EPA list to ensure that they are approved for use against this emerging virus.