Sanitizer materials and restrictions

Processors and handlers may use any allowed sanitizer for cleaning food contact surfaces as long as the sanitizer does not leave a residue and/or come into contact with organic products. In general, most cleaners and sanitizers are allowed if rinsed — alcohol-based sanitizers must be air dried — from surface areas prior to use with organic products.

When a sanitizer must come into contact with organic products, you may only use permitted materials per the National List, following all restriction annotations, such as:

  • Acidified sodium chlorite
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Chlorine materials
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ozone
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Sodium hydroxide


Do not risk jeopardizing your certification. Never use an unapproved material until after OTCO review and approval is granted.

Requirements for quaternary ammonium compounds (quats or QACs):

The high lingering residual effects for quats make them efficient and effective sanitizer solutions. However, quats are prohibited from coming into contact with organic products, ingredients, or packaging. You must perform a thorough rinse or alternative, acceptable intervening step to completely remove them from surface areas and equipment.

Following removal, you must use a low-ion test strip to verify no quat residue is present. Your procedures and test results must be documented. Testing does not need to be performed each time provided you maintain — and record — the necessary pressure, temperature, quantity, and timing of the rinse as found in the initial, zero residue test result. However, you must periodically test the efficacy of your procedures and provide ongoing documentation that your contamination prevention process is still effective.

OTCO currently accepts the following test kit results:

  • LaMotte, 2934 Insta-TEST Dual Range QAC Test Strips
  • Micro Essential Lab QL-110 Hydrion Lo Ion Quat Test Kits
  • Indigo Instruments Quat Test Strips, 0-100, Quick Response (QR)


All sanitizers and cleaners are part of your Organic System Plan (OSP). If you need to make a change to your sanitation process, please follow our process for adding (or removing) approved materials prior to use.

Forms & Documents

Download the above and submit it to your client service team. If you applied for certification using our Online OSP via SOW Organic, you can make all of your OSP updates and requests through your account.

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