An Alternative to Messy Foot Baths

British Columbia-based company sells a solution to help improve farm biosecurity
Melanie Epp
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
By Melanie Epp
The disinfection floor mat is key to protecting your flock from tracked dirt and all that it carries, as well as a perfect alternative to messy foot baths – or nothing.
The disinfection floor mat is key to protecting your flock from tracked dirt and all that it carries, as well as a perfect alternative to messy foot baths – or nothing. Atesco

There’s a new tool in town, and not only can it help improve on-farm biosecurity, but it can also save money. On a farm, without preventive measures, micro-organisms can survive for days or weeks on infected footwear, potentially spreading wherever it travels.

In the past, in order to prevent pathogens from entering (and leaving) hatcheries and poultry barns, producers required visitors to disinfect or sanitize their boots and shoes using a foot bath – which can be both messy and somewhat costly.
Atesco Industrial Hygiene Ltd., based in British Columbia, sells a new solution: disinfection foot mats.

Atesco’s managing director, Peter Adamski, has been selling the disinfection mats in Canada for about eight months now.
He says that the company hopes to eventually have reps in all of the provinces, but for now it conducts its business entirely online, and has sold the mats all over Canada, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia.

Inside The Mat
The 24” by 35” foot mats are made of tarpaulin and are composed of a slip-resistant outer sleeve and grid, with a foam core. The outer sleeve, which is also waterproof, comes with a zip fastener to access the inner foam.

The 1.6” high-density polyurethane foam inside can withstand heavy loads, as well as be cleaned and replaced if necessary. While the inner foam is heavy duty, it is resistant only to chemical solutions.

Adamski is careful to note that the foam should not be filled with unmixed chemical disinfectants.

In terms of on-farm biosecurity, the foot mat offers the same level of security as the foot bath does for shoes, boots and other types of footwear. It protects against and kills possible pathogens, helping to keep them outside of the premises.

What makes the product unique is that it can be used with all types of registered disinfectants, says Adamski. However, he does not recommend using unregistered chemicals because you never know if they’ll work.

“It’s best to use the registered products with the mat,” he says.

The disinfection foot mat is a universal applicator that can be used with all registered disinfectants, and more efficiently that standard foot baths. In fact, says Adamski, the mat uses 75 per cent less disinfectant because it does not splash.

It is the ultimate indoor and outdoor solution for poultry farms, hatcheries and poultry processing facilities, he says.

“When customers call, there are three main questions we get,” says Adamski. “What kind of products can I use with it?

How often do I have to refresh? And how much does it cost?”

When to Replace
Since all registered disinfectants can be used with the mat, the choice of which to invest in comes down to personal preference. But when it comes to renewing the disinfectant, the decision should be based on a number of criteria, including:

  • the amount of traffic the foot mat has seen
  • the amount of organic matter on the mat
  • the type of disinfectant used (varies from product to product)
  • whether or not it has been diluted by rain or affected by sunlight
  • the quality of water used to make the solution

“Some manufacturers offer a pH indicator to enable users to see if the disinfectant is still usable,” says Adamski. “At best, this will only tell the user the pH of the foot mat and nothing else.”  

“The only reliable way to maintain effective biosecurity using a foot mat is to ensure that the correct concentration of disinfectant is used and that it is changed regularly,” he continues.

To purchase your Disinfection Foot Mat, place your order online at www.atescoindustrialhygiene.com.

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