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What is the correct Hand Swabbing Technique?

Micro swabbing Hygiene operaative biology production micro hand swabbing hands

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Dee Mac

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 04:24 PM

Hi All, 


Im currently writing a procedure for my sampling technicians for how they collect hand swabs. All other factories i have worked in have swabbed: both hands palm and back, between fingers, and around nails. However these ladies have only ever done palms and between 2 fingers in the past. 


Would you recommend my method or theirs? I thought that the method im suggesting just captures commonly missed areas etc. 


Look forward to hearing your responses. 


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 04:48 PM

Hi Dee


I have worked in factories that have done both.


I guess it depends on the products  being handled and the risk, because I have been people sniff & apply the back of their hand to their nose, so I know it does happen!. 


Ultimately you're assessing staff's compliance to hand washing protocol so I would say it is safer to swab all areas to determine compliance to the hand wash & hygiene protocols.


Certainly if the product is RTE or high risk it's a sensible precaution & also, the more rigorous the swabbing is, the more likely staff are to adhere to hand washing/hygiene protocols.


Anything that avoids the use of the "magic gloves" is a good thing (you know the gloves I mean, they can be worn for hours, only need to be changed daily,  allow you to touch waste on the floor & then touch food because "I'm wearing gloves" so the product is safe!).

Henry Saingura

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 06:18 PM

Hi Dee!
Leslet.Roberta is right wearing gloves is safe.


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Posted 19 December 2018 - 06:50 PM

Hi DeeMac,


An additional conundrum is how to formulate the micro. limits


Can try this thread -




PS - another technique is to place palm onto an agar plate or equivalent.

Kind Regards,



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Micro, swabbing, Hygiene, operaative, biology, production micro, hand swabbing, hands

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