Store cleaning: reducing CIPC residue to comply with new tMRLs
The 2020 storage season is the first where store managers in Europe cannot apply Chlorpropham (CIPC) in store.
However, they have an important job to do in reducing CIPC levels left over from previous applications, in order to meet any forthcoming temporary maximum residue level (tMRL) for future crops.
The tMRL, the level of CIPC allowed on tubers sent to market, has not yet been announced. CIPC approval holders have requested a tMRL, and while we know the European Commission have been investigating this - they have not yet announced a decision.
We expect any tMRL that is announced to be set at a level that is achievable for the industry - but only if a rigorous programme of cleaning is followed.
To help store managers across the continent comply with a future tMRL, the European Potato Value Chain, a group of industry bodies that includes AHDB, has produced guidelines for reducing CIPC in potato stores.
Cleaning guidelines for reducing chlorpropham (CIPC) from potato stores and equipment
All stores with a history of CIPC use must be cleaned as soon as the 2019 crop has been unloaded
The guidelines were produced to reduce traces of chlorpropham (CIPC) in potato stores and to reduce the risk of exceedance of any future tMRL. To make them easy to use, an infographic, visual guidelines and a checklist have been produced.
If you are using a professional cleaning company to clean your stores - pass them this information
A visual representation of the key principles for the reduction of CIPC from potato stores
Visual inspection guideline
Before and after cleaning pictures from real stores. These may help you or your staff to assess whether stores have been adequately cleaned.
Store cleaning checklist
A document for you to track your cleaning activities and to share with the buyer/processor after cleaning.
Full cleaning guidelines
The key principles and advised steps to undertake store and equipment cleaning.
- All stores with a history of CIPC use must be cleaned as soon as the 2019 crop has been unloaded.
- Cleaning activities must integrate safety parameters: always use personal protection equipment (PPE) and pay attention to safety when working at height. For the latest on PPE, visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/
- Keep written records and pictures of what has been cleaned, how and when. The buyer of the potatoes may request a record of cleaning activities.
- Preferably use dry cleaning methods and in any case start with them. Only if no suitable dry cleaning method is available, or not sufficient for complete cleaning, should water be used. When using complementary wet cleaning, an acceptable method of collecting water and disposing of it appropriately must be used to avoid dispersing waste water into the environment.
- Care should be taken to minimise re-distribution of CIPC. Loose materials should be removed promptly, by vacuuming. Sweeping and brushing generate dust, which risks re-distribution.
- Cleaning must be carried out from top to bottom (i.e. roof to floor).
- CIPC is only slightly volatile. Volatilisation will contribute to removal of CIPC, but over longer periods of time. When the store is not in use for potato storage, doors and hatches should be left open to allow for continuous refreshment.
- Underground cleaned ducts should also have a constant movement of air after cleaning, either by running fans or by natural draft. Low airspeed is sufficient.
- Where possible, first remove loose waste material by dry cleaning and then move store hardware (boxes, above ground ducts, etc.) outside so weather action (sun, rain, wind, temperature) can also contribute to CIPC removal.
- Cleaning efforts should focus in positions of highest contamination, like plenum and fans (see section 2.1 and 6).
Effective store cleaning is likely to be associated with a number of risks that will need to be controlled to ensure the safety of staff. We suggest using the HSE website if you don’t already have a system for carrying out risk assessments, or need guidance on completing risk assessments.
Some of the areas may be ‘confined spaces’, which will require additional controls. Make sure you have a safe system of work, and that everyone involved is properly trained.
Risks involved with store cleaning that are likely to require control
- Working at height: https://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm
- Trip hazards: https://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/slips.htm
- Dust: https://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/harmful/index.htm
- Working in confined spaces: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg258.pdf
In all stores, electrical isolators should be locked off when fans, dampers, guards etc are being cleaned.
Need help? Contact the AHDB advice line on 0800 02 82 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org