Avoiding environmental monitoring ‘false negatives’: overcoming disinfectant residues with culture media neutralisers
Even with the rise of rapid microbiological methods, most environmental monitoring applications are undertaken using culture media, with many alternative methods also being growth-based. This makes the selection, control and release of culture media an area of great importance, given that the quality of the culture media underpins the environmental monitoring programme.
In addition to selecting the right culture media, the use of an appropriate neutraliser is important in relation to surface, and some personnel, monitoring. Neutralisers are required to overcome any residues left by disinfectants, as can be found on cleanroom surfaces or on the gloved hands of personnel.2 The use of a neutraliser within the culture media formulation is also necessary to overcome residues from antimicrobial compounds so that a false negative is avoided. The use of a neutraliser is recommended in the biocontamination control standard ISO 14698;3 and, outside of pharmaceuticals, the cosmetics microbiological test standard ISO 21149 contains some useful advice on neutraliser selection.4
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