Reducing the bacterial load in an incubator

  • Reducing the bacterial load in an incubator
Reducing the bacterial load in an incubator

Bacterial load

Lowering the bacterial load in an incubator


Lowering the bacterial load in an incubator is important for maintaining a sterile environment, especially in settings such as vaccine incubators, laboratories, medical facilities, or even commercial hatcheries. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the bacterial load in an incubator:


  1. Regular Cleaning and Disinfection: Establish a routine cleaning schedule for the incubator. Use a mild detergent or disinfectant recommended for use in such environments. Ensure that the cleaning products you use are compatible with the materials in the incubator.
  2. Remove Debris: Regularly remove any debris, spills, or waste materials from the incubator. These can provide a breeding ground for bacteria.
  3. Drying: Make sure that the incubator is dry before and during use as water is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, mould and fungus.
  4. Frequent Sterilization: Perform thorough sterilization procedures periodically. This might involve using heat, steam, or chemical sterilants, depending on the type of incubator. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the proper sterilization methods to use. Some incubators have their own TDS (Total Disinfecting System). Note that the use of Formaldehyde in incubators is effective but that its use is prohibited in some countries.
  5. UV-C Light: Some incubators come with built-in UV-C lights that can help disinfect the interior. UV-C light is known to be effective in killing bacteria and other microorganisms. Be cautious when using UV-C light, as it can be harmful to human skin and eyes.
  6. HEPA Filters: If your incubator or AHU (air-handling-unit) has air circulation, consider using HEPA filters to trap airborne particles, including bacteria. This can help maintain a cleaner environment within the incubator.
  7. Limited Access: Minimize unnecessary access to the incubator. Only authorized personnel should be allowed to enter the incubator, and they should follow proper hygiene and cleanliness protocols.
  8. Use of Antimicrobial Surfaces: Although costly, some incubators are equipped with antimicrobial-coated surfaces that inhibit the growth of bacteria. If possible, consider using them or add it subsequently to purchase using a spray-on.
  9. Avoid Food and Drinks: Never store food or beverages inside the incubator, as they can attract pests and contribute to bacterial growth.
  10. Regular Monitoring: Implement a system for monitoring bacterial contamination levels within the incubator. This could involve regular swab testing or other methods to check for the presence of bacteria.
  11. Proper Training: Ensure that all personnel who use the incubator are properly trained in maintaining its cleanliness and sterility. This includes proper handwashing, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and following established protocols.
  12. Ventilation and Airflow: If the incubator has ventilation or airflow systems, make sure they are functioning properly. Proper ventilation can help reduce the concentration of airborne bacteria.



Remember that maintaining a low bacterial load is an ongoing process that requires consistent attention and adherence to protocols. The specific steps you need to take might vary depending on the type of incubator you're using and the environment in which it's located. Always refer to the manufacturer's guidelines and consult with experts in your field for the best practices.


Get in touch with EMKA Incubators to find out why our incubators are best equipped for disinfection.

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