Environmental Service Laboratories is now offering microbiological analytical testing in verifying the effectiveness of surface cleaning.

Currently, there are no clear or recommended procedures for the determination of active viruses such as Coronavirus on surfaces, hence testing for live microbial, viable bacteria is utilized as a surrogate technique. The proper cleaning of the surfaces and elimination of the live bacteria is then presumed in the elimination of any viruses on the same surface. It is worth noting that the cleaning agents must be approved by EPA and follow the CDC guidelines in order to effectively remove bacteria and Coronaviruses. (i.e, Bleach, >70% Alcohol based cleaning agents, others)

• Baseline Determination- It is highly recommended to perform a series of testing prior to cleaning in order to better understand the level of potential contamination on the surfaces of concern. Please contact us for more information and our onsite consulting services to better aid your disinfection plans.

• After cleaning and application of an approved disinfectant/material, select surfaces can be sampled by qualified personnel for the presence of viable bacteria. The surfaces should include primarily frequent touchpoints since these surfaces are most likely to have bacteria and viruses. These commonly include but are not limited to, doorknobs, door push bars, door edges, stair and ramp handrails, countertops, appliance handles, light switches, toilet seats, and flush handles, faucet handles, soap pumps, table, and desktops, telephones, touch screen monitors, elevator buttons, credit card keypads, vending machine buttons, equipment controls, chair armrests and gas pump handles. Environmental Service Laboratories will provide instruction for those clients that may choose to perform the sampling.

Sterile sampling media are used to wipe /contact surfaces to collect bacteria. After sampling, the media is returned to the sterile container which is provided in the sample kit and labeled with a unique ID number for transport to the lab. There is a 24-hour maximum holding time between the time of the sample collection and when it must be placed into cultures in the lab.

Reporting and Turnaround Time
Cultures will be analyzed for Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC). This is an analysis of a wide range of viable bacteria. The culture time is 48 hours. The report will be issued with results in Colony Forming Units per Sponge/slide. Reports will be issued in 2 working days from receipt of the samples by the lab.

Additional Related Services
Environmental Service Laboratory has qualified, degreed environmental professionals and microbiologists who can go to building locations for consultation and collect the samples after the application of the disinfectants by a third party or cleaning companies. Additionally, we can provide analytical services for your drinking, wastewater.