advice on fumigation and unimix Elham Monsef 10.09.97
food safty and fumigation Michael H.N.Golden 10.09.97
Re: food safty and fumigation Pieter Dijkhuizen 11.09.97
RE: food safty and fumigation Patrick Webb 11.09.97
food safety and fumigation Florence Egal 08.10.97

Wed, 10 Sep 1997 15:56:25 +0100 (BST)

From: Elham Monsef Lcnatform-net.com

Subject: advice on fumigation and unimix


Dear Dr Golden and association,

I am a nutritionist working with MSF in Kenya. first and fore most congragulations on the "field exchange" and am looking forward to reading from the association. also has the home page been set up?

We have sfcs and tfcs here and we use unimix (75%corn, 25% soya). during my field visits i observed a number of quality problems which are being hopefully addressed but i have a number of questions to which i do not seem to find the answers, so i hope you are able to help me or if not point me in the right direction. thanks.

The questions have arisen with the experience of high infestation of weevils in the unimix. the protocol is to fumigate the warehouse every 3 months using permitrine. the manufacturer is recommending to fumugate the warehouse while there is stock in the warehouse, (a practice by them). hence this has lead to the question of safety.

1. is it safe to fumigate the warehouse with stock? even if they are covered?

2. how safe is using aluminium phosphide as a fumigant (gaseous state)?

3. is there possibility of fumigant binding to the fat in unimix and rendering unimix toxic and hence poisonous? if yes, what is half-life?

4. do you know if high decible sound could be used to kill weevils??

I would appreciate your guidance and advice. looking forward to reading from you asap.

thank you once again.


Elham Monsef, (ms)

Subject: food safty and fumigation

Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 16:34:19 +0100 (BST)

From: Prof. Michael H.N Golden


Fellow ngonuts,

I have recieved the following request, and have no idea of the correct answers, or how to advise, can anyone help with these specific questions?

I would have thought that the experts in Water and Sanitation in the member NGOs, UNHCR and, especially, WFP would have all the answers in their manuals (smile). However, it is clear to me going round food-stores, where virtually every stock of blended food and pulses were infested by the time they reached the consumer, that the current practices are either not being performed properly or are inadequate for the problem of insect (and fungus) containment.

Each organisation simply seems to blame another for being the source of contamination. Is it a question of distribution of manuals and training or of research and improvement of methods (or both)?

When we were distributing food crawling with insects, the sanitation people told us that they could not fumigate again because it was not long enough from the last fumigation -

so nothing was done!

Best wishes,


Prof. Michael H.N

From: "Pieter Dijkhuizen"<Pieter.Dijkhuizenatwfp.org>

Date: Thu, 11 Sep 1997 09:56:33 +0200

Subject: Re: food safety and fumigation


"Which unexpected depths of ignorance of the bloody obvious are revealed, Praise to the NGONUT bulletin!"

Every WFP country office carries several copies of the "Food Storage Manual", ( World Food Programme/Natural Resources Institute, Editor D.J.Walker, 1992).

If these copies are ineligible because of insect infestation -which has happened-, HQ will send replacements.

This comprehensive manual contains all necessary information about safe fumigation and much more.

It can be consulted in the WFP country offices, where usually also experienced logisticians will be available to answer practical questions. They can also give addresses of local expert fumigation services.

The manual can be ordered for $30 from the Natural Resources Institute, Chatham, UK, Fax 44-634-880066/77.

Additional information:

In many countries where WFP holds large food stocks (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya) it regularly organises training for counterparts, on this subject, implemented by the NRI. NGO's could request NRI to conduct such training for them.

In nearly all countries in Africa the State Grain Marketing Boards or equivalent, as well as large commercial mills, have state-of-the-art fumigation and storage expertise. This expertise should be utilised.


Pieter Dykhuizen, WFP HQ

From Patrick Webb pwebbatUni-Hohenheim.DE

Thu Sep 11 09:15 BST 1997

Subject: RE: food safty and fumigation


Dear Nuts

I don't have the answer about the specific questions on fumigation, but a pertinent contact might be Dr. David Walker (and colleagues) at the Natural Resources Institute in England (Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB. Tel: 01634-880-088), which is now part of Greenwich University. Walker wrote a piece in Disasters journal (vol 20, No.2) called Improving the Efficiency and Cost-effectiveness of Food Aid Grain Delivery (pp. 133-143). That article discusses some storage and handling problems, but David has been involved in many other aspects of food aid shipping and quality control.


Prof. Patrick Webb

Institute 490E, Dept. for Agriculture and Economics in the Tropics, University of Hohenheim

70593 Stuttgart, Germany

Tel: +49-711-459-4116, Fax: +49-711-459-4248

email: pwebbatuni-hohenheim.de

Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 10:42:00 +0200

From: "Egal, Florence (ESNP)" <Florence.Egalatfao.org>

Subject: FW:



Better late than never?


From: Boutrif, Ezzeddine (ESNS)


The question raised is very interesting and pertinent. It is true that the current WFP manual does not cover adequatly the question of insect and fungal infestation. A revision of the manual should therefore be considered.

On the infestation by insects, the fumigation must use the appropriate chemical otherwise it will have no or unsufficient effect. Repeating the fumigation will not help. Insects tend to develop resistance to any given fumigant/pesticide so there is a need from time to time to change the chemical used to make the fumigation more effective.