To help Principal Investigators (PIs) and their labs remain consistent with the guidance for equipment cleaning, sanitization, and testing outlined by the Guide for the Care & Use of Laboratory Animals, the Animal Care & Use Program has an established set of guidelines to formalize the cleaning process for all equipment that does not go to cagewash (i.e., not cleaned by ULAM).
These guidelines are especially relevant for groups who perform their own surgeries or conduct behavioral studies.
As a general rule, labs may use whatever sanitization chemicals and materials they deem appropriate if each of the following conditions has been met:
- The materials have been discussed with, and approved by, the facility’s ULAM Faculty Veterinarian if they differ from those outlined by the sanitization guidelines,
- Materials are used in accordance with all manufacturer instructions, and
- All objects and equipment being cleaned show at least a 90% reduction in Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) levels once sanitized, as determined by a review of testing results from the ULAM Faculty Veterinarian and Animal Safety Coordinator
- If your lab’s procedures have changed since your last consultation with the Animal Safety Coordinator, please schedule a follow-up visit to have your new processes tested and appropriately validated.
- You should continue to practice only those sanitization processes that have been previously validated until your new procedures have been tested and reviewed.
- If you have questions about selecting an appropriate disinfectant outside of those currently included on the recommended list of sanitizing solutions (see Section 2.c.ii), please contact your ULAM Faculty Veterinarian.
- All research personnel are strongly encouraged to review both the Guidelines for Manual Sanitization of Caging and Equipment and the Guidelines for Validation of Mechanical and Manual Sanitization of Caging and Equipment to ensure that they are familiar with the proper procedures and expectations for conducting and submitting equipment sanitization testing.
Additional Reference Materials
- Quick Reference Sheet: Equipment Cleaning & Sanitization Guidance – Available via PDF download, this sheet provides a high-level overview of the sanitization guidelines first introduced in 2019.
- Guidelines for Manual Sanitization of Caging and Equipment – Outline the specific procedures for hand washing all caging and equipment that comes into direct contact with a live animal.
- Guidelines for Validation of Mechanical and Manual Sanitization of Caging and Equipment – Outline the procedures and expectations for validating the sanitization of caging and equipment that is sanitized either manually or mechanically.
- Virtual AAALAC Chat: Equipment Sanitization Guidelines – An archived recording of a brief 20-minute webinar held in preparation for the AAALAC 2020 Site Visit. Contains a high-level overview of the sanitization guidelines, resources for additional information, and answers to several FAQs.
- Labs should email Animal Safety Coordinator Lisa Steiner (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule an in-person consultation and to have their sanitization processes tested and appropriately validated.
- Questions or concerns about selecting the appropriate disinfectant and/or sanitization testing techniques should be directed to your facility’s ULAM Faculty Veterinarian. If you don’t know your faculty veterinarian, send an email to email@example.com and your question will be routed to the appropriate contact.
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