The standard ISO 18593:2018 provides important guidance for sampling and testing surfaces in the food chain environment for microbiological safety, and much of this information is relevant for monitoring surfaces in healthcare settings for the purposes of infection control.
Surfaces which require to be sterile are tested for the presence or absence of microbes, while more general food contact surfaces are monitored regularly for numbers of bacteria and so pick up if numbers are increasing.
The standard includes details of sampling using swabs or sponges, including diluents for premoistening, such as buffered peptone water, peptone salt (also called maximum recovery diluent), and peptone solution of 1g/l, with neutralisers if required.
These are already available from MWE as standard diluents for NRS II Transwab® premoistened swabs and Polywipe™ premoistened sponge swabs. In addition the neutralisers provided with these products are all among those listed in the standard.
For many years MWE has been a leader for environmental sampling devices, and it is fitting that it is one of the first to be aligned with the new standard.