Safe Microbiological Techniques

Safe microbiological techniques (SMT) are the basic working practices to create safe working conditions in the lab.

  1. Keep all doors and windows closed when experiments are in progress.

  2. Wear proper personal protective equipment.

  3. Eating, drinking, smoking and storing food and drinks in the laboratory is not permitted.

  4. Decontaminate any spills of GMOs immediately with the following procedure:

    • Remove fluids with tissue or paper towel and then dispose of the paper in the waste bin for biologically contaminated waste.

    • Decontaminate the surface on which the material was spilled with 70% ethanol or another validated disinfectant.

    • Wash your hands afterwards.

  5. Minimize the creation and spread of aerosols by:

    • only centrifuging closed tubes;
    • preventing caps from getting wet;
    • heating wet inoculation needles correctly (i.e. first heat the shaft, then the eye);
    • allowing inoculation needles to cool down before putting them into fluids;
    • never force-emptying pipettes, but rather allowing gravity to do its work;
    • pouring out all fluids in a gentle manner and never from a great height;
    • sterilizing used materials.
  6. Mouth pipetting is forbidden.

  7. Decontaminate used materials before washing and reusing them.

  8. Inactivate biological waste:

    • Place all biological waste in a waste-bin for biological waste. It should then be transported to the autoclave or to a waste incinerator that is capable of burning contaminated hospital waste.
  9. Wash your hands with disinfecting soap after the experiment and before leaving the laboratory.