Brewers – Decontamination Strategies

Blog | 15 October 2021

Here at Holchem we are working with customers in the brewing sector to help with their hygiene routines.

Since March 2020 decontamination of brewery sites may be required should a member of the team test positive for COVID-19.  We have been advising on two decontamination strategies that can be implemented: 1 - Local decontamination of specific areas of the brewery if one or two cases of COVID-19 are identified. 2 - Decontamination of the whole brewery if the cases of COVID-19 are numerous and the site chooses to temporarily close. Our teams have interpreted government guidelines on this and developed two specific  Cleaning Instruction Cards to help businesses meet the necessary requirements.

Enhanced touchpoint cleaning and barrier controls are also key.  There are a number of additional steps that need to be taken, for instance, when it comes to barrier controls and entering and exiting a site it is good practice for the drivers and other staff delivering (and taking away) to the premises not to leave their vehicles.  Important points to note:

  • Drivers should always be supplied with an efficacy tested hand sanitiser, a disinfectant, and paper towels.
  • Drivers should use a hand sanitiser before passing delivery documents to food premises staff.

On site changing and washrooms are a major control barrier to reduce introducing physical or microbiological hazards into the brewing area. The procedures in place should be re-evaluated to ensure they are sufficient to control the additional hazard of SARS-CoV-2 with specific points to consider when looking at routines.

These steps should work alongside enhanced touchpoint cleaning.  It may be worth identifying the touchpoints by their category because the frequency of cleaning/sanitation will vary. From light switches, to doors, door handles, alarms to laptops to computer screens with the variety of surfaces, it is important to choose a cleaning method that is appropriate, effective and does not damage the surface. For instance, with plastic or stainless-steel door handles a disinfectant wet wipe or a dry wipe plus spray disinfectant would be suitable. With a computer an alcohol based wet wipe would be most suitable.

Hand hygiene is of course of the upmost importance and stringent hand hygiene routines for all staff need to be understood and implemented with regular training on procedures and the correct products to use is recommended. We advise all brewers to consult with our teams before implementing any hygiene routines to ensure the plans are meeting the needs of the business and government guidelines.