Scientists at food research institute Campden BRI have developed a new test to assess the effectiveness of cleaning chemicals and disinfection operations on a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus.

Microbiologist Annette Sansom, who has been leading the project, said: “We have developed and validated a method in our microbiology laboratories to test the effectiveness of sanitisers in solution and on surfaces. It can be used by companies who want to compare the efficacy of different sanitisers or assess the effectiveness of their surface cleaning regimes. And because the surrogate is safe, it can be used to test in in factories, shops, hotels, restaurants, pubs, offices, warehouses and even on people’s hands.”

Campden BRI says the new test will provide companies with greater confidence in their abilities to clean and disinfect any working areas effectively.

Sansom added: “While our primary focus has been to develop the test for the food and drink industry, it is equally applicable to any application which requires chemicals or cleaning regimes to be assessed for Covid-19. Since the start of the outbreak, effective and regular cleaning regimes have been key in helping to prevent virus transmission from surfaces. These are still critical as countries begin to relax lockdown measures in a bid to return to some form of normality.

“The ability to test chemicals and workplaces for effective protection against Covid-19 will provide an increased level of safety and reassurance to businesses, workers and the public by reducing the risk of transmission.”