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Bactericidal Surface Cleaners new rules


MRL’s are set by the authorities to control the contamination of foodstuffs by “pesticides” during processing.  For this purpose they have now classed biocides as pesticides.
MRL’s are set by Europe as maximum allowable concentrations of pesticides/biocides on surfaces upon which food is prepared. The governing body is the Health and Safety Executive.  They publish on the HSE website which shows the maximum pesticide/biocide allowed on a food preparation surface prior to contact with food.   Biocides are being added to this list quite rapidly, and it is envisaged that shortly all biocides will be on it, all with varying maximum levels, depending upon their toxicology.  In future this will include dilute bleach and hydrogen peroxide solutions.
Quats have now been added to the list.  From 12th August 2015 Benzalkonium Chloride and DDAC (Twin chain Quaternary) will be set at 0.1 mg/kg (ppm) maximum.  As it is impossible to determine how much is on the surface, the only practical course of action is to promote the rinsing of surfaces which have been sanitized with quats before food is in contact with them.  This should be done after the appropriate disinfection period, 30 seconds or 5 minutes depending upon the kill required.