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Environmental Monitoring

Trace Analytics, LLC – the leading compressed air testing laboratory since 1989

Environmental Testing

Microorganisms are everywhere; they are around us all the time. However, in controlled environments and cleanroom facilities, the presence of unwanted microorganisms can have catastrophic consequences. Rigorous monitoring plans must be implemented to ensure microbes are not causing harm to the end-products. The testing of the critical or high-risk surfaces, ambient air locations, and contact points can help manufacturers prevent cross-contamination and ensure that their safety and quality procedures are working effectively. Additionally, capitalizing on trend analysis with regards to environmental monitoring can show areas of improvement through out the year if enough environmental testing is done.

Trace Analytics is a third-party, 17025:2017 accredited laboratory that makes environmental monitoring and testing easy. Analyses comply to standards like but not limited to, ISO14698, SQF monitoring, FDA monitoring, ISO14644, ISO18593 We have equipment for rental or purchase, provide the media needed to collect the microbial samples, and offer expedient and accurate results.

Surface Swab Testing

  • Perfect for hard to reach places
  • Reported as Total Plate Count (TBC, TFC)
  • 7 day turnaround
  • Custom specifications and incubation available
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Ambient Air Testing

  • Active or passive air sampling available
  • Viable and non-viable particulate testing
  • 7 day turnaround
  • Custom specifications and incubation available
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Contact Plate Testing

  • Perfect for flat surfaces, personnel etc.
  • Reported as Total Plate Count (TBC, TFC)
  • 7 day turnaround
  • Custom specifications and incubation available
Learn more

What to Test For:

Bacteria: can live in every environment, including extreme conditions. Bacterial contamination is considered a critical aspect for food and pharma manufacturers. Bacteria can spoil products, consume the product’s nutrients, or harm the consumers.

Yeast: can be particularly beneficial to some food and pharma manufacturers, but an overgrowth can have negative impacts. Consumer illness, decomposition of foods, and resistance to decontamination processes are all negative effects of yeast contamination.

Mold: can be found anywhere that moisture and oxygen are present. Mold can grow on any type of food, so food and beverage manufacturers should be particularly cautious of mold contamination.

Sampling and Analysis:

Sampling for microorganisms requires aseptic technique regardless of the method used. A person’s mere presence in a room can add 37 million bacteria to the air every hour. Gloves, masks, lab coats, and hairnets are essential wear when sampling for microbial contamination to ensure an accurate representation of the controlled space.

Samples can be collected via surface swab, Trio.bas Mono, laser particle counter, settle plate, or contact plate.

surface swab testing for bacteria yeast mold

Once sampling is complete, the samples (swabs or contact plates) must be carefully wrapped in parafilm, labeled, and returned in a cooler to Trace Analytics. Trace provides frozen ice packs to ship with the samples to ensure that growth does not occur in transit. If utilizing a laser particle counter, note that nonviable and viable particles are not differentiated and are displayed in real-time, final reports are in the required ISO spec or customer format.

Once the samples arrive at Trace, they will be incubated at customer specification or Trace Analytics standard method for ambient air testing. Custom incubations are available if requested. Our team of microbiologists will count the colony-forming units on each plate. Gram staining is available for the Pro Package. If further identification is requested, our team can perform chromogenic identification as well.

Reports will be delivered 7 days after samples are received. To schedule sampling, contact our team of experts here.



Chromogenic identification can be added to the Pro Package as outlined below. Contact our service team for more information.

Testing with Trace Analytics

Our state-of-the-art microbiology laboratory and team of expert microbiologists can handle all of your testing needs. Contact us for more information on microbial testing and indicator organism identification.