Appendix 5 - Disinfection equipment and procedures

SIM 01/2010/02


1. Inspectors and visiting staff will be supplied on personal issue with the following:

  • 1. An approved disinfectant;
  • 2. Transportable, sealable water containers (10 litre capacity);
  • 3. Leak-proof plastic bucket or container in which to mix the solution;
  • 4. Hand-held brush and synthetic sponge;
  • 5. Disposable gloves or rubber 'washing up' type gloves;
  • 6. Eye protection to prevent eyes being splashed with disinfectant concentrate;
  • 7. Plastic bags to contain items;
  • 8. A large container / box to carry items;
  • 9. A labelled rigid, crush-proof container (eg 'Tupperware' style box) for storing disinfectant sachets/tablets, if appropriate;
  • 10. Liquid soap/detergent.

2. The disinfectant supplied to inspectors will be a suitable product as detailed on DEFRA's list of approved disinfectants.

Safe storage/transportation of disinfectants

3. Concentrated disinfectants should be handled and stored in accordance with manufacturer's instruction. Generally this means in leak proof containers in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight and segregated from other substances.

4. Only sufficient disinfectant for the day's work should be carried.

5. Liquid concentrates (if supplied) should be transported in robust containers with tightly fitting leak proof lids, and be correctly labelled. The container should have its top securely screwed on and be placed in a plastic bucket or similar to safeguard against spillage whilst in the vehicle.

6. Disinfectant sachets or tablets (if supplied) should be carried in a rigid, correctly labelled, tightly closed crush-proof container.

7. Ensure that disinfectant is stored safely and is not accessible to children etc.

Safe use of disinfectant – mixing and use

8. When mixing disinfectants, inspectors should:

  • 1. Take approximately 20 litres of water, in two containers where possible to avoid the risk of injury when lifting. Make sure a suitable supply of clean water is also readily available in case of emergency (eg to wash skin or rinse eyes);
  • 2. Read the instructions on the packet and take note of safety information;
  • 3. Mix the disinfectant according to the manufacturers instructions. Where there is more than one recommended concentration, the stronger concentration should be used;
  • 4. Avoid contact with eyes and skin;
  • 5. Wear eye protection and gloves when handling concentrated disinfectant;
  • 6. When using powder concentrate supplied in soluble sachets, immerse the sachet under water to avoid inhalation of the dust;
  • 7. Add the concentrated product to the water and mix thoroughly. Warm (not exceeding 400 C) but not hot, water can be used with most disinfectants but this should be checked before use;
  • 8. Do not mix the disinfectant with other chemicals;
  • 9. Keep the product away from children;
  • 10. One mix of disinfectant solution can be used twice (eg before and after a visit), but will need to be covered and labelled appropriately if left unattended. It should be left in a secure place so that it is not accessible to children or animals.

9. When using disinfectants, inspectors should:

  • 1. Wash off all mud, slurry and other organic matter with soapy water before applying disinfectant;
  • 2. Disinfect boots and waterproof clothing (if used) BEFORE and AFTER each farm visit;
  • 3. A sponge can be effective for applying disinfectant to protective clothing. When using brushes, brush away from the face/eyes; 
  • 4. The used disinfectant solution should be disposed of according to manufacturer's instructions (eg in the case of Virkon S (1% solution) small quantities of diluted solution may be disposed of in waste water systems or on grassy land away from any watercourse. If the farm owner objects to disposal on his land then the inspector will have to return the solution to the water container and dispose of it at a suitable location off site);
  • 5. Equipment should then be stored safely in suitable sealed storage boxes or plastic bags;
  • 6. Wash hands with soap and water at the end of the disinfection procedure;
  • 7. During the visit, Inspectors should seek to refill the water containers for use next time. Additional supplies of water should be carried if for any reason it is anticipated that this will not be possible.

First aid measures

10. In the case of skin contact, wash immediately with soap and plenty of water. Seek medical advice if irritation persists.

11. In case of contact with eyes, including any splashes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. 

12. There is a risk that frequent skin contact with certain disinfectants could lead to contact dermatitis. The higher strength concentrations used for disinfecting boots etc. should not be allowed to come into contact with skin and must not be used for hand washing. Liquid soap should normally be used for hand washing purposes and dilute disinfectant solution should not be used unless specifically indicated that it is safe to do so.

13. If skin irritation or any other symptoms appear after using the disinfectant then do not use it again and seek medical advice from a doctor. You should also report the problem to your line manager using form IH1. Further information is available on the Intranet.

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Updated 2023-11-28