Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard
Schedule 5: Cleaning / Washing / Disinfection

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Different terms are used in the Manual to define an object's level of sanitation:

  • Cleaning is the physical removal of soiled material. This may include using a wire brush to scrape manure off boots, etc. This removes a significant amount of the disease-causing organisms.
  • Washing is cleaning, followed by scrubbing or spraying with water and a detergent, followed by rinsing with clean water. To complete the process, washed items must be thoroughly dried (preferably in the sun) before reuse.
  • Disinfection is treating the object with a chemical substance that will kill all microorganisms. Depending on the object, disinfection can also be achieved using boiling water (e.g. particularly veterinary equipment). Disinfection is not effective without prior cleaning.

The Cleaning process consists of 5 Steps

  1. Dry cleaning – The most important step of the cleaning process to remove all visible manure, bedding and other organic material by scraping, brushing, and wiping down surfaces, etc. During winter, this may be limited to scraping up loose material before it freezes. A thorough dry cleaning simplifies and facilitates the wet cleaning process and is necessary prior to the disinfection process.
  2. Wet Cleaning – Using water and a detergent, soak surfaces thoroughly. Soak the dirtiest surfaces first, however, move from clean to dirty when spraying and scrubbing to prevent unnecessary contamination of the cleaner areas. Rinse the surfaces with water to remove traces of detergent and organic material.
  3. Drying – Allowing the surfaces to dry aides in reducing the survivability of pathogens and ensures that the disinfectant applied during the disinfection step remains at the proper concentration.
  4. Disinfection – Disinfect surfaces. Use a broad-spectrum registered (Health Canada approved) disinfectant. Registered disinfectants will be identifiable by their Drug Identification Number on the label (DIN). Appropriate application is important – follow the manufacturer's directions. The surfaces that are being disinfected (in the case of disinfectants applied as a solution) need to remain wet during the required contact time. Generally, apply disinfectants to surfaces to the point that it is running off. Most disinfectants will need to be rinsed off following the required contact time, follow the recommendations on the label.

    Note: There is little value in disinfecting surfaces if the dry and wet cleaning have not been completed. The mud, manure and bedding will prevent adequate disinfection by protecting surfaces and inactivating many disinfectants.

  5. Drying – Ideally, surfaces that are disinfected should be allowed to dry. However, this may be impractical during certain times of the year or when operational demands prevent the delay.
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