General Producer Guide - National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard
Annex I - Disinfectants

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Terminology

"Disinfectants" are chemical compounds applied to inanimate (non-living) objects to destroy or irreversibly inactivate disease-causing organisms.

"Disinfection" refers to the inactivation of disease causing organisms and includes but is not limited to chemicals, heat, and ultraviolet light.

Product regulation

Health Canada regulates the registration of disinfectants in Canada and provides a Drug Identification Number (DIN) prior to their marketing; this number will be listed on the disinfectant container.

Selecting a disinfectant

Disinfectants are evaluated by Health Canada using strict criteria; however, efficacy is determined under controlled laboratory conditions, and the use of disinfectants on a farm site requires that they be used according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Disinfectant selection is based on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • the chemical properties of the disinfectant;
  • the type(s) of organism targeted for inactivation;
  • the cleanliness of materials to be disinfected;
  • the composition (e.g. wood, metal, rubber) of the surface to be disinfected;
  • the temperature of surfaces and disinfectant;
  • contact time;
  • concentration;
  • application method;
  • the presence or use of other chemicals;
  • pH;
  • characteristics of the water (presence of dissolved solids, degree of contamination);
  • environmental considerations (the presence of streams and wildlife); and
  • cost.

These factors will affect the likelihood of a disinfectant performing as indicated by the manufacturer.

Choose broad-spectrum disinfectants with minimal toxicity that are easy to apply and that are effective under a variety of environmental conditions.

Disinfectant storage

Disinfectants have different shelf lives, depending on the chemical composition of the product, and often have a "best before" date. Chemicals degrade over time, reducing the effectiveness of the product: this often accelerates after a product has been opened. Use unexpired disinfectants and ensure lids, tops, bags are securely fastened for storage. Store in cool, dry, dark areas or according to manufacturer's recommendations.

Disinfectant application

Disinfectants are most effective when applied to clean, dry surfaces. Organic material (litter, soil, manure, etc.) on equipment, boots, and structures significantly reduces the activity of disinfectants, so these surfaces must be cleaned prior to disinfectant application.

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for application, paying strict attention to the concentration required and contact time. Some disinfectants require rinsing as their final step. Follow local government regulations regarding the application of disinfectants to ensure compliance with environmental legislation.

Once disinfectants are mixed with water or other chemicals, their shelf life decreases dramatically, so they must be replenished regularly. This may be daily for some products and weekly for others.

Disinfectants used for cleaning boots and other heavily contaminated equipment must be replenished frequently and are only effective if properly applied; boot baths or dips with disinfectants are often heavily contaminated with disease-causing agents, are ineffective, and must be used with caution.

Further information:

Health Canada

Centers for Security and Public Health

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