Use of cleaning chemicals

Use of cleaning chemicals

Please read if you (or your supplier) use BAC (benzalkonium chloride) or DDAC (didecyldimethylammonium chloride) for cleaning of harvesting equipment; in packhouses; food processing units; or any other equipment or surfaces in contact with organic product.

To meet Soil Association standard 41.8.3, where cleaning substances are used you must use potable water to rinse any surface or equipment that comes into contact with organic product. This is to ensure there are no residues on the food.

Unfortunately, in the last few months we have received a number of detections of cleaning product residues on organic food. Such detections can affect whether a product can be sold as organic.

In particular detections of BAC or DDAC have been found. These substances are difficult to remove from surfaces, and if not adequately rinsed will result in residues in the organic product. Strong rinsing with hot water is most effective, rather than a cold water rinse.

Action you need to take:

If you are using BAC or DDAC we recommend you take action to validate whether your rinsing procedures are sufficient to remove residues.

Alternatively, to avoid possible contamination you may wish to switch to a different cleaning product to ensure your products are not at risk of residues.

You may also wish to check with your suppliers to ensure they are aware of the possible risk of using these products, so they can take necessary action.

If our inspectors identify a risk of contamination with BAC or DDAC at inspection they will take samples of the product for analyses.

Please note, that Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) also apply to BAC and DDAC which is 0.1mg/kg. Products with detections over the MRL legally cannot be sold at all, even as non-organic.

If you have any questions regarding this please contact your certification officer.