Escalating Sanitization for Pandemics

Pathogenic microorganisms are comprised of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi and can be a risk to human health. In 2020, we began a global fight against the Covid19 outbreak caused by a virus classified as a Coronavirus. There is a strong argument that our global community was not ready for this pandemic.

It's time for an action plan on how we can feel safer and help to recover positively from such a frightening public health event. We are all hopeful that vaccines can be produced to end; and, better yet, avoid pandemics. Most people understand “hope is not a strategy.”

To get a healthy green light to get back on buses, subway trains, passenger airlines and cruise ships; to return to classrooms; to gather in clusters at the office, factory, and playgrounds, we will need massive deep cleaning operations to be a common practice.


We know that scientists and governments will announce the stage of re-entry into these public places and institutions.

The cleaning procedures to disinfect the environmental surfaces where we work and play will have to remain at a high level of sanitization rigor for quite some time to combat and then thwart reinfection from potential next rounds of the subsequent harm Covid19 might potentially cause.

Let’s define what a heightened state of sanitization looks like on exterior and interior public spaces and equipment:

How to Activate a High State of Sanitization:

1) Divide the place you are cleaning into 4 zones and prioritize the zones by the level of touch points

2) All zones must be cleaned by washing with a solution of water mixed with soap (Follow label instructions)

- Alkaline cleaners may be considered - Acidic cleaners may be considered - Some products combine sanitizing or disinfecting along with cleaning into one formula

3) Clean to make sure the soapy water is applied to the surface and given some time for soaking (wear glasses and gloves)

4) Use a deck brush for improved scrubbing and contact time

5) Use an all-in-one mobile foaming trolley because foam solutions enhance soaking contact time 6) Consider a mobile or stationary preventative bio-security gate providing acute epidemic control at truck entrance ways to livestock places, food plants, hospitals, and biosecure facilities 7) Rinse away the dirty water with a clean water source in this step

- Remove to nearby drainage or drains - Or use a liquid vacuum extraction tool - Or mop and wring out dirty water to dirty bucket and continually dilute the surface with water from the clean bucket and repeat several times. Closely monitor the condition of the mop-head. 8) Make sure Zone 1 and Zone 2 has been effectively cleaned by swab testing with sensitive PocketSwab Plus ATP Test. Establish recurring testing and periodically test Zones 3-4. 9) If the swab test fails, repeat steps one through eight and then retest

10) Apply a sanitizing solution or reapply a multi or single purpose disinfectant - Sanitizers often have claims to kill 99.9% of organisms claimed on the product label. - Disinfectants often can kill 99.99% of organisms claimed on the product label. - Some sanitizers are food grade and do not have to be rinsed prior to contact with food contact surfaces if dosed according to instructions.


This type of rigorous cleaning and sanitization is often reserved for the food and healthcare industries; yet, if we are to feel safer in all of our public places and institutions, these heightened steps need to be followed during and post pandemic until science can prove we have better control of the risks and impacts we have seen from Covid19. We must prioritize the zones and on a daily basis we must schedule when to clean, test, re-clean, sanitize and only step down to less sanitization frequency once the recovery has been secured. Organizations of course will follow their HACCP plans.

The author is Mike Brown who has 12 years experience working with cleaners, disinfectants, sanitizers and regulatory affairs for a major global manufacturer. Mike is also certified as an Advanced fst Food Safety Trainer (A079124) and can be reached at

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