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Disinfectant for use for dairy farms

Published: 26 March 2020

Reducing the spread of COVID-19 on or off your dairy farm involves many considerations. Very regular sanitation of shared touch points and equipment in the dairy and around the farm is one of these measures.

Shared touch points

Common shared touch points to consider sanitising in the dairy include:

  • Door handles and light switches
  • Vat control pad, connection points, outlet taps,
    hose taps, lid, sight glass, agitator switch,
    ladder rails
  • Vacuum pump switch
  • Wash system controls
  • Filter cannister
  • Pens and writing surfaces
  • Shared milking aprons, sleeves, glove boxes
  • Gates, latches and handrails
  • Milk tubes, clusters, teat disinfection
  • Taps and hoses
  • Cupboard and fridge handles

Cleaning and disinfection (surfaces and hands)

Cleaning is an essential part of disinfection as organic matter (dirt, faeces etc) can inactivate most disinfectants.

Where possible wear disposable gloves, or gloves that can be cleaned, when conducting cleaning tasks.

Clean frequently touched hard surfaces routinely with detergent and water. Wipe the cleaned area using paper towels/disposable cloth or leave to air dry

Soap and water should be used for hand hygiene when hands are visibly soiled. Alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water can be used when hands are visibly clean but have been contaminated from contact with environmental surfaces

Preparation of disinfectant solution

Select a disinfectant where the manufacturer claims antiviral activity (on label).

Gloves should be worn when handling and preparing disinfectant solutions.

Protective eye wear should be worn to protect against splashing.

Always follow the label; use detergents and disinfectants as per the manufacturer’s instructions, including recommended mixing rates.

Mix up fresh solution for each use where possible.

In the face of disinfectant shortages, a 70% alcohol solution can be made by combining seven parts methylated spirits with three parts water.

Food safety considerations

All chemicals used in the dairy must be APVMA approved and used according to label directions (this means household cleaners such as bleach should not be used in the dairy). Many milk processors have requirements that Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs) (e.g. benzalkonium chloride) and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) can not be used on milk contact surfaces.

If you are unsure about a particular product, contact your milk processor/factory field officer.

Useful links

Below are resources from health.gov.au.


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