Sampling from the environment may not be as simple as it may seem. For proper collection it is necessary to use a tool that:
- reaches the target sampling area
- collects a sample aseptically
- does not contain biocides
- neutralizes remains of sanitizers
- maintains cells viability
Collecting swab samples
Our sampling kits (sponges, swabs, clothes) comply with ISO 18593: 2019: Food Chain Microbiology – Horizontal Methods Specifying Surface Sampling Techniques.
In general, it is recommended to use a sterile swab for hard to reach bottlenecks and areas <100 cm2. For the sampling of areas> 100 cm2 it is recommended to use a swab cloth / sponge.
For the proof of micro-organisms presence/absence, the total sampled area should be as large as possible (if available) to increase the likelihood of micro-organism capture. It is recommended to sample the area between 1000 cm2 – 3000 cm2. Typically by pathogen testing / screening for Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, etc.
For total plate count numbers it is sufficient to use a swab of up to 100 cm2.
It is advisable to use a suitable tool, such as EZ Reach, PUR Blue, SampleRight polyurethane sponge, to wipe off such a surface.
Maintaining cell viability
According to ISO 18593: 2019, the swab sample should be delivered to the laboratory for processing / analysis as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours (chilled!). If the sample is not processed in the laboratory immediately, it may be kept refrigerated for a maximum of 48 hours after sampling.
The new specially developed High Capacity Neutralizing Broth (HiCap) has been proven to maintain cell viability for up to 72 hours!
The medium is intended for use in the food and beverage industry. By neutralizing residual disinfectants in the sample and maintaining the viability of the collected microorganisms for up to 72 hours, HiCap helps prevent false negative test results and facilitates accurate quantification of microorganisms. HiCap has been formulated to restore and maintain both gram-negative and gram-positive organisms.