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Testing of disinfectants From February 2011 newsletter

Testing of disinfectants

Ensuring that factories are cleaned and disinfected effectively and in a timely manner is a fundamental prerequisite in the production of safe and wholesome foods. This involves decisions on when to clean, how to clean and what chemicals to use, in order to remove physical, chemical and microbiological contaminants.

Expert knowledge on how the disinfectant works and how effective it is

Provision of advice and guidance on cleaning methods, cleaning agents and disinfectant selection are amongst the many services that we offer the food industry. Not only for traditional cleaning, such as wet cleaning, dry cleaning, CIP (cleaning-in-place) systems and antibacterial hand soaps/hygienic rubs, but also in new technologies such as whole room disinfection, antimicrobial surfaces, and disinfectants with 'residual activity' claims. When coming to us for such advice, you can rely on the fact that we can back up our guidance with expert knowledge on how the disinfectant works, and how effective it is, as Lawrence Staniforth explains:

"The manufacturers of both disinfectant formulations and active ingredients must be able to substantiate the claims they make on the efficacy of their products. This involves submission of technical dossiers detailing their product´s performance in recognised, standardised laboratory tests. We carry out this testing of disinfectants for many companies and are involved in the development of the tests at both UK and International level.

Different formulations are effective in different situations, and against different microorganisms. We work with disinfectant producing companies and disinfectant users to ensure that the claims made on the container are correct and can be substantiated. Amongst the many questions that the disinfectant testing regimes and users ask are: what organisms is the formulation effective against; does the product work under chilled and/or ambient conditions; and how effective is it? This background knowledge means that we can offer companies advice on how to deal with problem organisms (in-house strains) and validate the efficacy of treatments against these organisms, thus ensuring that their cleaning and disinfection practices are suitable."

Lawrence Staniforth
+44(0)1386 842042