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How and why should I control the microbiological quality of air ?

The microbiological control of air is an indispensable element for validating good hygiene practices in the company, notably for controlling the effectiveness of the cleaning-disinfection plan. Germs that can be detected in the air mainly include moulds, yeasts and bacteria.

There are two methods for the microbiological control of air :
- static method: this entails depositing agar culture mediums on the floor or on another flat surface for a given period of time and then counting the number of micro-organisms gathered by sedimentation; this method is used to measure surface contamination by micro-organisms in the air; the result is not quantitative, as airflows can cause it to vary. It is not representative of the microbiological contamination of the air, for one major reason: the particles forming the sediment are mainly larger than 5 microns.
- dynamic method: this entails collecting the micro-organisms present in a predefined volume of air; air collection devices called microbiological air samplers (including LCB food safety’s AIR TEST® microbiological air sampler) are used to suck up a selected volume of air and to gather the micro-organisms present on the agar culture mediums. The samplings taken are then used to express the micro-organism content per m3 of air and to obtain a microbiological mapping of the air in an area.

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