Understanding the required action to prevent Coronavirus
04 May 2020
John Holah, technical director at Holchem, provides practical guidance on COVID-19 for those working in areas where surfaces may become contaminated.
There is, as yet, no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by food and its packaging. The cleaning and disinfection of food contact surfaces and processing environments should, therefore, remain as is, using existing products and procedures.
While the Coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 declines rapidly on surfaces within two to three days, some viruses are thought to survive for up to nine days. If members of staff are thus subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19 (and should self-isolate) it is recommended to decontaminate surfaces that they could have come into contact with.
If a known person infected person has been in the areas then the following is advised:
- Wear appropriate PPE
- If a surface is dirty, 10,000ppm available chlorine should be used to wipe it down
- If the surface is clean 1000ppm of available chlorine should be used
- Then decontaminate or dispose of PPE as appropriate and wash hands thoroughly.
There may be some surfaces in food factories or establishments that are frequently contacted by a number of staff (door handles, rails, soap dispensers) and these surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at a frequency greater than normally undertaken.
These surfaces will extend to non-food production areas such as offices, door handles, stairway handrails and surfaces in canteens.
Suggested products to use in order of priority are alcohol wipes and sprays containing > 60% alcohol, followed by other disinfectant wipes and sprays with approval against enveloped viruses to EN14476.
In addition to staff entry and exits to food manufacturing areas, food operatives may wish to wash their hands more frequently, particularly if they are touching multiple personal contact surfaces. Suggested products to use in order of priority are soap and water, hand hygiene products containing >60% alcohol, and hand hygiene products containing disinfectants with approval against enveloped viruses to EN14476 .
Optimum Virucidal Disinfectant has been formulated to kill a range of health risk micro-organisms such as MRSA, Polio Virus, C. difficile, Norovirus and Influenza; and is available in a 1 litre ready-to-use format suitable to use on all hard surfaces including hand rails, wood, metal, plastic and work tops. It is designed to be used in the care home sector, nursing homes, hotels and schools.
The affected area should first be cleaned; Optimum Virucidal Disinfectant can then be sprayed direct onto the surface. For routine disinfection it must be left for five minutes, for a deep disinfection following possible viral contamination leave for 30 minutes, and for C. difficile it can be left for 60 minutes.
The product has been independently approved to EN1276, EN1650, EN14476, EN13697, EN1656, EN1657 and EN13704.
It is available in a 1 litre ready to use format and is suitable to use on all hard surfaces including hand rails, wood, metal, plastic and work tops. It is easy to use and is designed to be used in the care home sector, nursing homes, hotels and schools.
In partnership with totrain we have launched a free online COVID-19 training course that gives an overview and guidance on this new virus. This course topics include: What is Coronavirus; Understanding the Symptoms and Required Action.