The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Education Board published Guidelines for Teaching Laboratories in 2012.1 The ASM publication was influenced by the lack of clear safety guidelines for microbiology teaching labs and a multistate outbreak of Salmonella typhimuirium originating in teaching and clinical laboratories in 2011.2 Unfortunately, a similar incident occurred in 2014, thus reinforcing the need for these guidelines.3 The ASM guidelines include recommendations for working at Biosafety Level (BSL) 1 and BSL2. A major finding of the epidemiological investigation of the outbreak was deficiencies in biosafety awareness and proper training of staff and students. The University of Utah Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) has compiled guidelines, based on the ASM recommendations in order to ensure our teaching labs are safe for students and to prevent pathogen exposure to persons and the environment. These guidelines can be accessed here.
- ASM teaching guidelines: http://www.asm.org/index.php/education-2/22-education/8308-new-version- available-for-comment-guidelines-for-best-biosafety-practices-in-teaching-laboratories
- CDC report regarding 2011 Salmonella typhimurium outbreak: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/2011/lab-exposure-1-17-2012.html
- CDC report regarding 2014 Salmonella typhimurium outbreak: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium-labs-06-14/index.html