As a preventive measure against Covid-19, which affects more than five million people worldwide, the health authorities have recommended, apart from hand washing, the use of alcohol and masks, and social distancing, to bathe every time we return home from the street, disinfect the items with which we have the most contact and clean our homes.
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As a result of the above, businesses have emerged that offer sanitation and disinfection services both in your homes and in your offices or businesses. The advertising of these sites guarantees “a Covid-19 free environment for you, your family, clients and collaborators”, thanks to the processes of cleaning, disinfect, sanitize and sterilize that many might believe refer to the same thing, but in reality there are great differences between them.
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Here we leave you the meaning of each procedure and its differences according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the Canadian Institute of Food Safety, so that when contracting any of these services you are informed about which one you It suits more and which does not.
It is important to mention that CDC suggests cleaning first and then disinfecting surfaces.
The Canadian Food Safety Institute says this is a method used to remove dirt, chemical residues, and visible allergens, primarily on inanimate objects and surfaces, meaning they are lifeless. It is important to mention that, unlike other methods, cleaning does not offer disinfection or any other type of elimination of bacterial life.
According to various sites, the most effective method of all is disinfection, a process that involves killing microscopic organisms, such as germs, on surfaces, using chemicals or wet pasteurization to avoid contagion from diseases such as coronaviruses or others. The Environmental Protection Agency says that disinfectants can reduce the bacteria level by 99 percent over a period of more than five minutes but not more than 10 minutes.
This process can be performed in medical and family settings, on commonly used objects and visibly soiled surfaces. Chemicals that can be used include chlorine, bromine, chlorine dioxide, and sodium hypochlorite, or methods that use heat, moist heat, or ultraviolet light. Of course, the objects must be previously cleaned with cloths and then be disinfected.
This is a variant of disinfection. It is important to mention that it is a chemical that reduces the number of microorganisms, that is, it does not kill the growth of a bacterium, virus or fungus, however they eliminate faster the amount of germs and microbial agents that can be harmful to health.
Sanitizing is of great importance in food preparation as germs and fungi can cause stomach infections.
Sterilization is the process by which microorganisms found in an object, substance, or place are destroyed. Compared to disinfection, this is a process that destroys all microbacterial life forms, through different chemical and physical methods. This is an alternative that is frequently used is to subject what you want to sterilize to high temperatures that cause the death of microorganisms.
This process includes steam under pressure, dry heat, EtO (ethylene oxide) gas, plasma of hydrogen peroxide gas; and chemicals, using sterilizable agents.