The focus was on the Ornua resolution to terminate use of chlorine-based detergents in the dairy industry by the end of 2020, at the recent Teagasc Milk Quality Workshops in Cork and Cavan.
Chlorine and chlorine-based detergents were traditionally the most commonly used cleaning agents for milking equipment on farms, in factories, and in water disinfection. However, there is increasing concern with regard to the potential occurrence of chlorine related residues.
The EU Commission is setting a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for chlorate in food. Removal of chlorine detergents will help to ensure these new standards are attained, but suitable alternatives must be identified.
At the workshops, Teagasc researcher Tom Beresford said new detergent protocols are now available, and further products are being developed for use at farm and processor level. He said new washing protocols have to be implemented precisely as outlined, and it is critical that adequate hot water is available on farms to support them.
n Glanbia Ireland has told milk suppliers they must move to chlorine-free detergent. Head of Technical Shane McElroy said, “Many of our farmers have already followed our advice and moved over to chlorine-free detergents. It is a requirement as part of our 2020 Milk Purchasing Policy that from April, all suppliers must opt for chlorine-free.”
Three ranges of chlorine-free detergents are being recommended by and being made available by Glanbia Ireland.
Using liquid detergents will mean that hot water supplies must be adequate to ensure a good thorough clean. It may be necessary to upgrade farm hot water systems.
Glanbia Ireland has warned that some chlorinated products on the market do not have valid PCS numbers, as the manufacturers have stopped registering them. If these products are identified on farms during SDAS or Cross Compliance audits, this would lead to a major non-compliance.
Last year, Dairygold tested for chlorates, with any supplier who failed the test requested to use chlorine-free detergent.