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Ohio Water Microbiology Lab

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OWML: QA/QC

Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manual: Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory

 

Thermometers, incubators, water baths, refrigerators, and freezers
thermometerThermometers are kept in three areas and are inventoried according to storage and use: (1) the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) thermometer (2) daily-use water-bath, incubator, and refrigerator thermometers, and (3) digital thermometers.

  • The NIST thermometer is calibrated and certified annually by an outside service technician. Certification dates are recorded in the LIMS. Calibration records are stored in the equipment logbook.
     
  • Daily-use thermometers are checked quarterly against the NIST thermometer. Results are recorded in the LIMS and acceptance criteria are listed in table 3. Criteria are based on use.
     
  • Digital thermometers are checked quarterly against the NIST thermometer and are calibrated annually by the manufacturer. Results and calibration dates are recorded in the LIMS.

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.  Acceptance criteria for laboratory thermometers

Thermometer use

Thermometer identification (will vary)

Location

Test Temperature

Criteria

NIST

NIST

Drawer

Certified

Certified

Daily use

water baths

K

W/B 1

48C

1C

O

W/B 3

36C and 48C

1C

Daily use

incubators

U

Inc 2

28C

1C

W

Inc 5

36C

1C

X

Inc 7

36C

1C

Daily use

refrigerators

R

Refrig 1

0C

1C

N

Refrig 2

0C

1C

S

Refrig 4

0C

1C

 

Refrig 6

0C

1C

V

Refrig 7

0C

1C

Digital

Dig G, Dig H, Dig I

Drawer

0C, 36C, and 48C

0.3C, 0.4C, and 0.5C

 

waterbath

Incubators, water baths, refrigerators, and freezers in use in the laboratory are listed in table 4, along with temperature settings and criteria for acceptance that are dependent on use. Approximately 11 aluminum-block blue field incubators and 2 double-chamber gray incubators are used for laboratory and field operations. Temperatures of incubators and refrigerators are recorded daily using a temperature log sheet (Appendix B1). After each sheet is completely filled in, it is filed in a notebook in the laboratory.

As of 11/19/2013, temperature data loggers were installed in select incubators, refrigerators, and freezers (see table 4). For this equipment, temperatures are recorded hourly and daily digital files are stored on the laptop computer in the lab and backed up to an external hard drive. Temperature data from these loggers are available online, and select staff will be notified by text message when the temperature has fallen outside the acceptance criteria (if the temperature has not returned to acceptable after a 30-minute recovery period). Further, once-daily, manual recording of temperatures for this equipment has been discontinued.

  • The temperatures of the laboratory incubators, water baths, and refrigerators are checked monthly with NIST-calibrated laboratory thermometers and recorded in the LIMS. During use, the incubators, water baths, and refrigerators (without temperature loggers) are checked daily and recorded on a designated daily log sheet posted on the front or side of each piece of equipment. Temperature daily log sheets are stored in the Temperature logbook.
     
  • The temperatures of the freezers are checked quarterly with NIST-calibrated laboratory thermometers and recorded in the LIMS. The -70C freezers are equipped with automatic alarms that are set to respond when temperatures rise above -60C; the alarm system sounds during regular working hours and is attached to a telephone notification system after hours.
     
  • The operating temperatures of microbiological aluminum-block incubators are checked annually (or in preparation for a major study) and recorded in the LIMS. During periods of heavy use in the laboratory or in the field, the temperatures are checked and recorded daily.
     
  • The two –70oC freezers (freezers 3 and 4) are used to store samples and microbiological cultures. A filter is cleaned and fans behind the filter are checked by laboratory personnel for operation quarterly and dates are recorded in the LIMS. The condenser is dusted or vacuumed every 6 months and recorded in the LIMS. A temperature chart is changed after a single pass around the chart (weekly).
     
  • Water baths are filled with distilled water and are cleaned with Liqui-Nox quarterly, or more often as needed. Record quarterly cleanings in the LIMS.
     

Table 4.  Acceptance criteria for laboratory refrigerators, freezers, incubators, and waterbaths

Equipment identification

Use

Acceptance criteria

Temperature logger installed

INC 2

Actinomycetes

28C 1.0C

 

INC 5

General Use

41C 1C

X

INC 6

Method 1601/1602, transfer cultures, general use

36C 1C

 

INC 7

Method 1601/1602, transfer cultures, general use

36C 1.0C

X

INC S

General Use

41C 1C, 44.5C 0.5C

 

FIELD INCUBATORS

Membrane filtration

35C 1.0C, 44.5C 0.5C, 41C 0.5C

 

W/B 1

Melt and temper agar

48C 3.0C

 

W/B 2

Method 1602, heat treatments

37C 1.0C, 70C 3.0C

 

W/B 3

Grow hosts/1602

36C 1.0C, 48C 1.0C

 

W/B 6

Grow hosts

36C 1.0C, 48C 1.0C

 

REFRIG 1

Sample storage

1 to 4C

X

REFRIG 2

Sample storage

1 to 4C

 

REFRIG 4

Sample storage

1 to 4C

X

REFRIG 6

Reagent/ media storage 1 to 4C X

REFRIG 7

Reagent/ media storage

1 to 4C

X

FREEZ 1

Reagent storage

 -20C to -30C

X

FREEZ 2

Ice packs, biological sample storage

 -20C to -30C

 

FREEZ 3

Bacteria stocks, virus stocks, samples

Shelf 1 -70C 10C

Shelf 2 -70C 10C

Shelf 3 -60C 10C

Shelf 4 -60C 10C

Shelf 5 -60C 10C

X

FREEZ 5

Probes, hybridization reagents

-20C to -30C

X

FREEZ 6

Cell culture, long term storage

Shelf 1 -70C 10C

Shelf 2 -70C 10C

Shelf 3 -60C 10C

Shelf 4 -60C 10C

Shelf 5 -60C 10C

X

FREEZ 7

Long term storage

-20C to -30C

 

 

 

   

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