SWAB TESTS: ONE TECHNIQUE FOR ANY SURFACE
Reassure customers, staff and yourself that your
bioburden control procedures are effective
Bioburden: the number of microorganisms contaminating an object
WHY YOU SHOULD BE MONITORING SANITATION EFFECTIVENESS
MICROBIAL SWAB TESTS FOR ON-SITE TESTING
RECOVERING STRESSED MICROORGANISMS
Some sanitants such as chlorine can be neutralised with other chemicals, eliminating the sanitizing effect. In the case of chlorine, it can be neutralised with sodium thiosulfate. You can use a neutralizer such as this to help recover a greater number of stressed microorganisms.
By reducing the concentration of sanitizing agent, you can recover more stressed bacteria. However this method also dilutes the number of microorganisms, so a larger sample would be needed to give comparable results
- Limit extra environmental stress on the microorganisms
When a microorganism is moved to a new environment (such as being trapped on a testing pad), their metabolism has to adapt to their new conditions, even if the new conditions are more favorable than the previous ones. If the microbe is already stressed, say due to attempted sanitation, this can reduce their chances of survival. In these cases, using a low nutrient Total Count Medium such as HPC (as in our red nomad testers) can produce better results than a traditional nutrient-rich medium like Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA). This is because the HPC is more similar to the concentration of nutrients that a waterborne contaminant would be used to. Likewise, incubation at room temperature rather than a higher temperature will limit stress.
- Extend incubation
Allowing bacteria a longer incubation time allows them to recover, adapt to their new environment (called the 'lag' phase) and develop into colonies.
TESTING WITH CONTACT PLATES VS SWABS
Figure: Recommended default swabbing pattern.
Draw 5 “N“s on the surface to control, each branch of the “N“ being as long as the swab chamber diagonal (6,5 cm or 2 1/2’’). Total linear distance sampled is 1 meter. Multiply counts by 18 to report microorganism picked on 1 linear meter.
OUR NOMAD TESTER KITS
CONTAIN READY TO GO SWAB TESTERS!
- Easy to use
Contains everything you need
First results in 18 hours
- No lab required!
Our nomad Testers get you swab testing in seconds, no special equipment or special skills required!
SWAB SAMPLING TECHNIQUES
RANDOM SAMPLING OF AN EVENLY CONTAMINATED SURFACE
Any sampled area is representative of the entire surface
The test's reliability depends on how well the sampling technique can be reproduced and increases for larger sample areas.
The test result is indicative of the total surface bioburden
RANDOM SAMPLING OF AN UNEVENLY CONTAMINATED SURFACE
ORIENTED SAMPLING OF AN UNEVENLY CONTAMINATED SURFACE
MULTIPLE SAMPLING OF A HETEROGENEOUS SURFACE
"Don't know if a surface is contaminated evenly or not? Swab 5 different locations with the same swab, including potential hot-spots, prior to testing."
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