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Choose the right products for cleaning and disinfecting

In previous articles we have discussed the need for good cleaning and disinfection, how to clean properly and how to disinfect. Now we come to the agents used, and it is vital to realise that the right choice of detergent and disinfectant is a pivotal part of any cleaning and disinfection programme.
Monday 9 August 2010 (8 years 1 months 13 days ago)
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In previous articles we have discussed the need for good cleaning and disinfection, how to clean properly and how to disinfect. Now we come to the agents used, and it is vital to realise that the right choice of detergent and disinfectant is a pivotal part of any cleaning and disinfection programme. Product choice is a vital part of any biosecurity programme. There is little point putting a lot of effort into cleaning and disinfecting and then using a cheap disinfectant that does not kill the important pathogens present on the unit.

What detergents should we use?
We have already shown that using a detergent in the cleaning programme speeds up cleaning, reduces water usage, reduces effluent production and helps a better pathogen kill, so it is not an option to miss out the detergent. What we also need to realise is that a pig house is a very heavily contaminated environment and it is much more difficult to clean than say a food processing room. For this reason you need a specialist heavy duty detergent to ensure proper cleaning.

The detergent used should work rapidly with a short contact period – say no more than 20 minutes. Obviously it needs to work on all surfaces and materials found on a pig farm. Due to high levels of grease in pig faeces the agent needs to have a good degreasing action and help remove contamination from poorly accessible surfaces. The agent should not cause any damage or corrosion to existing surfaces.


Contamination around drinkers

It is best that the detergent can be administered through existing equipment with the minimum modification. It should preferably be administered as a foam to increase contact time and allow operatives to see where is has been applied. It must work in hard water (high limescale content) and except where there are issues with high limescale it should preferably be alkaline to help dissolve fats and proteins in pig manure. In cases where there is high limescale it is common to rotate between related acidic and alkaline detergents.

The detergent should leave no residue after use which might lead to floors becoming slippery or which might harbour micro-organisms. It is important that it should be non-toxic to pigs and operatives, and it must have minimal environmental impacts. Finally the detergent use must not interfere with the disinfectants subsequent activity. For this reason it is best to use an integrated programme of detergent and disinfectant from one manufacturer.


A pen after washing

What are the requirements of a disinfectant?
There are many classes of disinfectant, but when it comes to choosing one there are certain pivotal requirements. The most important thing about a disinfectant is that it should have as wide a spectrum of activity as possible. Even if you are dealing with specific pathogens there may be others present that you are unaware of, but are significant and need killing. Ideally this spectrum should include good activity against viruses, bacterial and fungi. Other pathogens such as worm eggs and Coccidial oocysts are more difficult to kill and many need specialist products. The manufacturer should be able to provide good information on the activity of the product at appropriate dilutions, preferably tested in independent laboratories. It is best if this testing replicates field conditions (for example in the presence of some organic challenge).

The disinfectant needs to be fast acting, with a sensible required contact time. It would be best applied as a foam, which again prolongs contact and allows operatives to see where is has been applied. It is also best that the disinfectant is versatile so that it can be used for a number of biosecurity functions (e.g. room disinfection, aerial disinfection, foot dips, water sanitization and transport disinfection).


Washing applies to vehicles as well as buildings

Importantly the disinfectant should work in a broad band of temperatures as many have reduced activity near freezing. It is a good idea if the disinfectant is still active when mixed with anti-freeze so it can be used in sub-zero temperatures. Remember many pig producing areas have very cold winters. It should be easy to check that usage dilution is correct as this has to be correct. The disinfectant should be safe for operatives and pigs. It should not leave potentially harmful residues. At usage levels corrosion should not be an issue, especially where metal is used at high levels (e.g. in transport).

Storage and transport should be easy. Powdered products achieve this more easily. The product should compliment and work with modern detergents and drying systems. Finally is should be approved for usage against notifiable or foreign animal diseases by the country’s regulatory authority.

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03-Nov-2016Joe Castiglione Joe Castiglione Help I do not want to harm my pigs the are two potbellys what can I use by spray to disenfect near the pigs we think one is pregnant
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