Facilities for Sanitizing Materials

A dedicated central area for sanitizing cages and ancillary equipment should be provided. Mechanical cage-washing equipment is generally needed and should be selected to match the types of caging and equipment used. Consideration should be given to such factors as the following:

  • location with respect to animal rooms and waste disposal and storage areas

  • ease of access, including doors of sufficient width to facilitate movement of equipment

  • sufficient space for staging and maneuvering of equipment

  • soiled waste disposal and prewashing activities

  • ease of cleaning and disinfection of the area

  • traffic flow that separates animals and equipment moving between clean and soiled areas

  • air pressurization between partitioned spaces to reduce the potential of cross contamination between soiled and clean equipment

  • insulation of walls and ceilings where necessary

  • sound attenuation

  • utilities, such as hot and cold water, steam, floor drains, and electric power

  • ventilation, including installation of vents or canopies and provisions for dissipation of steam and fumes from sanitizing processes

  • vibration, especially if animals are housed directly above, below, or adjacent to the washing facility

  • personnel safety, by ensuring that safety showers, eyewash stations, and other equipment are provided as required by code; exposed hot water and steam lines are properly insulated; procedures with a propensity to generate aerosols are appropriately contained; and equipment, such as cage/rack washers, and bulk sterilizers, which personnel enter, are equipped with functioning safety devices that prevent staff from becoming trapped inside.

Environmental Monitoring

Monitoring of environmental conditions in animal holding spaces and other environmentally sensitive areas in the facility should be considered. Automated monitoring systems, which notify personnel of excursions in environmental conditions, including temperature and photoperiod, are advisable to prevent animal loss or physiologic changes as a result of system malfunction. The function and accuracy of such systems should be regularly verified.

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