Sanitizer materials and restrictions


COVID-19 Update:

It’s important to share that there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. And while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has shared a list of disinfectants for use against coronavirus, we understand it’s confusing to know if they’re allowed under organic certification. Please review the below info to see what you can use in organic.

When the organic product doesn’t come into contact with sanitizers…

  • You can use any sanitizer, disinfectant, or cleaner on food contact surfaces and equipment as long as it does not leave a residue or contact organic products.
  • If you use a sanitizer that leaves a residue, you must thoroughly remove the residue by rinsing equipment with clean water — alcohol-based sanitizers must be air dried — before running organic products.

When the organic product may come into contact with sanitizers…

  • Any sanitizer that may contact an organic product (such as no-rinse sanitizers used on food contact surfaces, or wash water additives) must be approved for use in organic.
  • COVID-19 sanitizers that are organic-approved and EPA-listed include: hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid, sodium hypochlorite, and hypochlorous acid; isopropanol and ethanol are approved for sanitation during post-harvest handling activities.
  • You can use OMRI-listed sanitizing products, following all restrictions, immediately.
  • Again, there is no documented evidence of food-based transmission of COVID-19.

We’ve created a list of Oregon Tilth approved sanitizers, cleaners, and disinfectants for your reference. Please note, use of an approved product must still follow all restrictions (if any). Please notify your client service team if you need to add non-OMRI listed products to your inputs list.

OTCO List of Approved Sanitizers

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


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.

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