With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the use of face masks, more regular hand washing and increased social distancing have become normalised. As such, hydroalcoholic solutions or gels that allow us to disinfect our hands quickly and easily in any situation have also become more important in our lives. Vita Asepsol (solution) and Vita Asepgel (gel) by Proquimia are hydroalcoholic disinfectants approved for hand hygiene by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS).
As should be expected, these new mandatory standards are also applicable in all large areas, such as supermarkets and food distribution centres, for both employees and customers.
However, in order to create a safe environment in these types of essential premises, it is important to have a cleaning and disinfection protocol that meets the needs of the various areas and surfaces, depending on the risk level and the influx of people. The protocol should also include actions to be taken in response to a potential outbreak.
These protocols must include the use of disinfectant products that are guaranteed to be effective against various different microorganisms and that are registered in the Spanish Ministry of Health’s Register of Non-agricultural Pesticides or Biocides, which indicates the authorised purpose or uses for each disinfectant. In the case of disinfectants with virucidal properties that are effective against encapsulated viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, they must comply with the UNE-EN 14476 standard. You can check the most recent version of the official list here.
Here below we will provide a general outline of how the cleaning and disinfection process should be approached in the different areas of a supermarket.
Sections (butchers, fishmongers, etc.)
As a general recommendation, the frequency of cleaning should be increased according to the risk assessment in the various sections and work areas, particularly on surfaces that are handled regularly or shared with other workers (utensils, machinery, etc.).
In these areas of the supermarket it is more appropriate to use a disinfectant detergent that can both clean and disinfect simultaneously, to speed up the process. CONPACK DESINFECTANTE PLUS, ASEPVIX, CONPACK ASEPVIX, DEOBACT D and CONPACK DEOBACT D from Proquimia all fulfil this double function.
On clean surfaces that need to be disinfected periodically because they are regularly handled by workers or customers (counters, scales, screens in general, etc.), intermediate disinfection measures can be established, using fast-acting disinfectants that do not require rinsing, such as ASEPCOL, ASEPCOL PLUS or ASEPCOL WHO. Bear in mind that, according to the current regulations on disinfectants, it is compulsory to rinse surfaces with water if they come into contact with food products.
In the warehouse and goods receiving area, general hygiene and safety measures should be required of any person who needs to enter the premises.
In addition to increasing the frequency of disinfection in work areas (tables, shelves, floors, etc.), it is advisable to disinfect all packaging and boxes of goods before opening them, as well as the machinery used for receiving and transporting goods: pallet trucks, mechanical forklifts, trolleys and carts. Disinfectant detergents should be used.
Portable equipment and large-scale sprayers/fumigators can be used in this area to facilitate and speed up the work. The Proquimia catalogue contains equipment that is ideal for this purpose, such as the MINIFOGGER.
Common customer areas
As with the other areas, the disinfection frequency in customer areas should also be increased according to the risk assessment for surfaces handled regularly by customers (shelves, scales, self-service tills, juice machines, conveyor belts, cash registers, lockers, door knobs, toilets in general, etc.).
A disinfectant detergent should also be used that can both clean and disinfect simultaneously.
For areas where frequent and fast disinfection is required, and activity cannot be paused, an alcohol-based, non-rinse disinfectant can be used. The most sensitive areas may be cash register screens, chairs and partitions, which should be disinfected during shift change or when there is a change of checkout operator; and particularly shopping basket and trolley handles, which should be disinfected more frequently.
How to disinfect, step by step
The disinfection process varies slightly depending on the type of disinfectant being used, but regardless of the product it is always highly important to let it set for enough time to allow it to act properly. Another similarity is that all disinfectant detergents or alcohol-based disinfectants used on food contact surfaces must be wiped off with a slightly damp cloth or paper towel.
- Set aside any object or utensil that may interfere when cleaning.
- Prepare a dilution of the product at the recommended dosage.
- Apply the product onto the surface to be cleaned.
- Wipe the surface with a cloth or scrub it with a scouring sponge.
- Let it set for 5-15 minutes, while disinfectant is acting.
- Rinse with water.
- Dry the surface with a cloth or disposable paper towel.
Alcohol-based disinfectants: ASEPCOL, ASEPCOL PLUS, ASEPCOL WHO
- Spray directly onto the surface (previously cleaned).
- When necessary, spread product by using a cloth or disposable paper towel.
- Let product until fully evaporated.