In the food processing industry, along with any occupation involving influence on public health, cleanliness is a vital element of the job. Selecting the correct cleaning agent is important in ensuring you’re removing bacteria in a timely manner that prevents the spread of such hazards.

But how well do you know your cleaners? Say you need to wipe down your counter in the kitchen before beginning the next task and you’re given the choice between two of the most common agents: a sanitiser and a disinfectant. Which do you choose? Is there even a difference between the two?

Though “sanitiser” and “disinfectant” are commonly used synonymously, there is a legal difference between these substances. Sanitisers are agents that kill 99.999% of bacteria in 30 seconds. These are great in applications such as food processing, where operations are fast paced, and cleaning substances should kill the majority germs as fast as possible for enhanced safety and productivity. They are also commonly available in wipe and spray forms for use in high-traffic areas, such as countertops and door handles, to kill bacteria quickly to avoid spreading by quick and constant contact.

Disinfectants, on the other hand, destroy all organisms within a 10-minute time period. Hospitals and medical centres are environments where disinfectants are ideally used, as it’s more important to kill all presence of germs rather than killing most of them quickly. Both sanitising and disinfecting are upgrades from general cleaning, which involves only removing visible debris, dirt and dust. Sanitising and disinfecting go a step further to remove potentially harmful bacteria that isn’t visible to the naked eye.

Though sanitisers are most commonly used on surfaces that come into contact with food, it’s always important to read your cleaning agent’s label to ensure that the substance you’re using is food safe, and won’t cause additional contamination hazards. We offer a wide variety of sanitisers and disinfectants for your specific cleaning needs.