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Hygiene protocol for pepper

Hygiene protocol pepper
Written by Jasper Verhoeven | Last update: 06-04-2021

Hygiene is a very important issue in horticulture: with the help of various hygiene measures, we must prevent bacteria, fungi and viruses from entering the company or staying behind during the crop rotation. The pepper hygiene protocol helps with this! In the protocol you will find the steps that must be followed for optimal cleaning and disinfection during cultivation, and which measures must be taken during cultivation.


End of old cropUse broad-spectrum products to finish the old crop insect free.

Clearing the greenhouse
Mechanical removal of crop residues, dirt, substrate mats, film, etc. The drier the crop is when removing it, the less vegetable saps can be dispersed. Use your own or decontaminated crop clearance fabrics. Be careful with vegetable saps (think of leaking containers or spreading over the yard etc.)! Thorough mechanical removal of dirt is essential for proper cleaning and effective disinfection.
CleaningCleaning glass (inside)
Cleaning of the greenhouse roof and inner walls: 
  • Agent based on biological acids and natural plant extracts (ecological): Greenhouse Glassclean (practical dosage 5% for normal soiling) suitable for cleaning AR-coated glass (no etching effect). Please contact us for suitability by type of glass. 
  • Agent based on hydrogen fluoride: Flusol Forte (practical dosage 3%)
  • Agent based on ammonium hydrogen difluoride: Topcleaner (practical dosage 5 - 10% for light soiling) (see overview Glass Cleaning)
Cleaning greenhouse spaceAfter 5 - 10 minutes, rinse the glass and the greenhouse space with plenty of water. 
Objective: removing glass cleaner and all organic material. Note: let the ecological cleaner soak in for 20 minutes before hosing it down.
Cleaning shading screenIn case of green deposits: close the screen and spray with Menno ter Forte (hose down after 1 day with plenty of water and let it dry well). Alternatively, use a stabilized hydrogen peroxide.
Cleaning growing guttersDepending on the soiling: use the alkaline cleaner Hortisept Clean
1 – 3%. Preferably apply in foaming form (foaming version is Hortisept Clean Plus). Rinse with high pressure (warm) water within 5 minutes (avoid drying of the product before rinsing it off). A biodegradable alternative for cleaning the gutters is Floorclean.
If there is a lot of algae, choose Menno ter Forte.
Ask the gutter supplier about the warranty conditions when using Hortisept Clean.

Cleaning dripping hose (inside)
At the end of the cultivation, assess the degree of soiling of the dripping hose. 
  • Depending on the organic soiling, use a solution of 0.2, 0.5 or 0.7% Huwa-San. Fill the entire water system with this for at least 12 hours. After this, flush the entire system thoroughly. Using hydrogen peroxide strips, check that the solution reaches the end of the system, and after flushing, that the peroxide is completely out of the system. 
  • Use 3% nitric acid in case of mineral soiling (product: nitric acid 38%).
Read the detailed manual ‘cleaning drip feeds for crop rotation'. Mind your safety!

Cleaning of drip system (exterior)In case of green deposits on the hose exterior, spray with Menno ter forte (do not rinse off).
  • Replace the plugs or immerse them in a solution of nitric acid (pH <1; loosen dirt) for 24 hours.
  • Then disinfect the plugs for at least 4 hours in a solution of Menno florades (4%).
DisinfectionDisinfecting greenhouse space
When everything is dry, start disinfecting. Preferably foam the surfaces. For manual foaming, use the foam lance and for machine foaming with the spraying trolley, use the foam set. Also include gutters, drip system, pipe rail system, CO2 pipes, concrete legs and heating pipes. 
Disinfect the whole greenhouse space with Menno florades (4%). Use at least 2,500 - 3,000 liters of liquid per hectare. Do not rinse the product. Make sure the whole greenhouse space is humid for as long as possible (air vents closed, dark day, low temperature).
Menno florades is a plant protection product for which research on its effect on many pathogens is available (what concentrations/application time is needed). Menno florades is broad spectrum, soft on materials (non-corrosive) and can be applied as a foam. Foam has the advantage that it gets into cracks and holes easier, that surfaces dry up less quickly and that it is visual.
Applying (walking) film, pulling gutter film over the gutters and laying mats. Because of bacteria, fungi and viruses, choose full-field film. Consider an additional strip as a connection to the concrete path.
Disinfecting greenhouse space (optional)
Two days before planting, spray the mats and film with a fine drop of Menno florades or a stabilized hydrogen peroxide such as Huwa-San. The Huwa-San can also be applied via the fog or LVM. Important that everything is dry and well ventilated (be careful with AC film)! Use control strips to see if there is no active ingredient to be measured in the planting hole.
Other (materials)Trolleys & Machines
Apply foam to pipe rail trolleys, harvesting tanks, spraying robots and other equipment/machines with 3% Hortisept Clean Plus using the foam applicator or hand foam sprayer. Vegetable saps and other soiling is soaked off. The Floorclean can also be used as an ecological alternative. For cleaning the sorting machine, use Nutriclean (HACCP approved).
The Foam Applicator can be easily connected to a water hose (3 bar). 
Benefits of foam application: visual inspection and better adhesion. Rinse off the product within 5 minutes. Avoid letting the product dry! 
After cleaning, disinfect the surfaces with Menno florades (4%) without rinsing. Prevent electronics from getting wet! 
Cleaning of concrete (paths) and floors of warehouses and canteen can also be done using the foam applicator + Menno Hortisept Clean Plus (1 - 3%). Rinse off within 5 minutes. Soiled floors can also be cleaned with the ecological agent Floorclean (1 - 5%, soak for at least 10 minutes). Hose down the dirt before the product dries up. Afterwards, disinfect the mentioned surfaces with Menno florades (4%), if necessary as a foam application.
Small tools
Immerse small tools such as knives and scissors for 15 minutes in a solution of Menno florades (4%). (Check pH of the solution; product is effective at pH 3 - 4.5).
During cultivationCleaning dripping hose
During the cultivation, dose Huwa-San (practical dosage with a good water quality; 40 cc/m3) for the control of biofilm and prevention of spreading of germs. There are good results on e.g. prevention of fusarium and pythium spreading. 
Hygiene feet & wheels
Use a Flexxo-mat (Person; PT or Transport; TT) to disinfect feet and/or wheels. For compulsory disinfection of hands and feet, use a (URK) hygiene station. Note the pH of the Menno florades solution in the mat. It is effective at pH 3 - 4.5. Measure the pH regularly with indicator paper. 
Hygiene hands
Use Menno H at the washbasin for employees and visitors at the entrance, at the start of work and after breaks. Use Enno Rapid (dry hand disinfection) when entering the greenhouse and during operations. It is also suitable for disinfecting small materials. 
Clean (Hortisept Clean Plus) & disinfect (Menno florades) materials during cultivation. Use the foam lance, foam applicator or hand foam pump. 
MiscellaneousMake the rules clear to everyone; work with a visitor registration and provide guest overalls, overboots and gloves. Draw up a protocol, ensure that employees are familiar with it and make one person (per location) responsible for hygiene management. If you have any questions, please contact our HortiHygienz team.

 the recommendations in this protocol are based on product approvals in the Netherlands.



Whitepaper: Crop rotation - Finish clean, start clean

Mockup Crop Rotation
Your new crop infected with pests and diseases after the crop rotation? That's a complete disaster! You can prevent this with the right hygiene measures. In this whitepaper you will find a step-by-step plan to start your crop clean.


Questions about the hygiene protocol for pepper

Do you have questions about the hygiene protocol for pepper, or would you like advice tailored to your situation? Then please contact disinfection specialist Jasper Verhoeven via the form below. You will receive a response as soon as possible - on weekdays even within 24 hours.

Specialist Jasper VerhoevenAbout Jasper Verhoeven

Jasper Verhoeven, product specialist disinfection, is the first point of contact for growers when it comes to hygiene. "Customised advice has become increasingly more important, due to the risen demand for hygiene measures in horticulture and the associated challenges. Every time, I see it as a challenge to help a grower to create the ultimate situation at his enterprise."

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