What is Surface Sampling?

What is Surface Sampling?
What is Surface Sampling?

There are several industries that demand a clean environment to work in. Biotech labs, pharmaceutical labs, hospitals, and more absolutely cannot have any harmful microorganisms in the air, or on the surface
of anything in the room. This presents a problem because microorganisms are
impossible to see with the naked eye and need to be tested for a on regular
basis. Fortunately, there are methods that can determine what is floating
around unseen in the air around us, and what awaits on the surfaces that we touch.
One such method is surface sampling.

While air sampling is important, it can also be expensive.
However, anything that is floating through the air needs to settle on a surface
at some point. This is where surface sampling comes into play. Once a sufficient
size sample is produced, we are able to identify the presence of bacteria,
mold, and yeast that could be floating in the air or sticking to our fingers. The
presence of these dangerous substances can be fatal for the elderly, young
children, and now the immunocompromised.

Viable Surface Sampling

When it comes to surface sampling, the word viable
refers to microorganisms that are living. Viable surface sampling allows you to
collect both viable and non-viable microorganisms from whatever surface that
you tested. For example, one easy way to determine if mold is on a surface is
to use adhesive tape to sample it. While mold can be identified using this
method, it will not be able to determine whether it is a viable or non-viable
sample. The only way to determine whether the sample is viable or now is
through analyzing a culture of the sample that was taken.

Surface Sampling Using Swabs

As you may expect, this method utilizes using swabs to
collect samples from any surface suspected to carry an unwanted microorganism.
This can be done on tables, equipment, walls, floors, or really any solid
surface. The swab is sterilized before it is used so you will not get a tainted
result. After the swabbing, the sample is cultured in order to help it grow and
be studied. In order to detect the bacteria present, either Trypticase Soy Agar
(TSA) or Blood Agar Plate (BAP) is used.

However, if you are trying to detect mold and yeast,
you need to use Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) or Malt Extract Agar (MEA) to get
an accurate result. The temperature of the culture does not need to be as hot
as when you are incubating bacteria, but the method is the same. These
substances are used to help promote growth, so the sample can be easily
studied. Swabs are always stored in a sterile environment to try and prevent a
tainted sample.

Let Professionals Do the Job for You

Surface sampling sounds simple, but it is a very complicated process that needs to be handled with precision and care. Because of that, it is a good idea to let professionals do the job for you, otherwise there is a high risk of tainting the sample and not knowing exactly what you are testing for. If you are in need of surface sampling testing, contact D’Pure today.