Cotton Swab Method Validation for clean uniforms, bins and poly bags



Hi, my company has been practicing cotton swab method for clean uniforms, bins and poly bags. The same method has been in use for more than 10 years, and i plan to re validate the method. Since, i am new to Microbiology, i am not very sure how do i perform the validation for cotton swab method. Any guidance will be very much appreciated. Thank you

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Good day Chithra86,

I can not guarantee this is the current approved method, but I found The Microbiology Guidelines document: OFFICIAL METHODS OF ANALYSIS (Appendix J, 2012) which talks about swabbing, with specific reference in page 6:
Sponges and swabs are premoistened with a neutralizing broth, such as Dey-Engley (2), prior to sampling. The entire sampling area is sponged or swabbed in both a horizontal and vertical motion. Use the sponges to sample a 100 cm 2 (4′′ ? 4′′) area and swabs to sample a 5 cm 2 (1′′ ? 1′′) area. Sponges/swabs containing samples are placed back into their individual respective bag or tube and held at room temperature for 2 hours prior to initiation of testing.

I hope this helps!


Hi, from our historical data, we have never encountered any growth from the swab test method, and now i am not able to perform a recovery if i am not getting and, unless i perform the artificial innoculum. But as far as bin/uniform is concerned, i do not think its feasible to perform it. Any help would be much appreciated.
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