Basic rules of a Microbiology laboratory

A microbiology laboratory is a place for working with a variety of miocroorganisms. Since several culture media are prepared and organic materials are present, the chances exist for the presence of high spectrum of microbial community. Secondly, while working with pure culture one should always follow the microbiological rules so that neither the experiment should be unsuccessful nor any hazard may occur. If a large number of students are working in a microbiology laboratory, they should be aware what to do and what not ? What are the apparatuses / instruments / equipment present in the laboratory and what is their functioning ? What are the chemical solutions and stains and how to handle ? How should the students enter in the microbiology laboratory and how should they work ? Therefore, the freshers such as students, teachers, laboratory assistants and helpers must follow the following guidelines:

1. Always wear an apron (a white coat or gown) before entering the microbiology laboratory to protect from microbial contamination and laboratory hazards. At regular intervals get the apron washed.

2. Cut nails regularly. 

3. Tie long hairs back to avoid contamination and fire hazard.

4. Keep your working laboratory bench clean of every thing. Nothing should be laying on the bench.

5. Never keep books, purses, bags, etc. on the working bench.

6. Always wash your hands with soap in running tap water before and after the work.

7. Clean your working bench with ethanol (70%) or phenol (1:100).

8. Never spit and smoke in the laboratory.

9. Don’t put anything of the laboratory (e.g. pencil, thread, labels, inoculation needle, pins, etc) in your mouth, ears, nose and eyes.

10. Don’t put your fingers in your eyes, ears, mouth. It may facilitate the chance of infection by pathogenic microorganisms.

11. Don’t eat or drink or talk while working with microorganisms.

12. Don’t mishandle the chemical solution, stains, spirit lamp, UV light, instruments / apparatus or electricity.

13. Always keep the burner at distance from the organic solvents. Your sincere care will avoid fire accident. The burner must be tuned off soon after the use.

14. Always maintain aseptic condition while working with microorganisms.

15. Always use flame-sterilised inoculation needle/loop.

16. Don’t open the culture tubes/plates directly and never inhale them nor observe with naked eyes.

Gaurav Singh

Editor in Chief Medical Microbiology & RDT Labs - RDT Labs Magazine

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