MadgeTech Blog

3 Factors to Consider when Sterilizing Dental Instruments

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Just like any other branch in the health care industry, dentistry is held to strict guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA). Ensuring the highest level of patient and personnel safety relies on the implementation of an infection control program.

At the center of an infection control program, outlined by the CDC, is the proper sterilization and disinfection of patient-care items and devices. This step is critical to ensure all instruments are free of hazardous bodily fluids and materials. A staple at any dental facility, an autoclave, is utilized to validate sterilization cycles are carried out according to government regulations.

As one might expect, this is a process that must be executed with enormous care, as even a slight procedural lapse can compromise patient health. This includes the regular monitoring of the autoclave to ensure it is operating as expected. According to the CDC and ADA, dental professionals should carefully check three types of indicators when validating the effectiveness of the sterilization process.

Chemical

The use of indicator tapes and other types of chemical indicators can help the technician determine whether the autoclave has reached proper sterilization temperatures. An indicator tape works by changing color if sterilization conditions reach a certain threshold. If the indicator does not respond, it should be assumed that any item being sterilized during that cycle is not sterile. The use of this indicator alone is not a guarantee that sterilization was effective.

Mechanical

It’s important to monitor temperature, pressure, and cycle duration while validating or using an autoclave. To accomplish this, technicians typically use high-quality data loggers. In fact, there are data loggers that are specifically designed for use with autoclaves and provide reporting tools for easy data analysis and confirmation.

Biological

Finally, biological monitoring is important to root out problems with the autoclave and ensure successful sterilization cycles. According to the CDC, an autoclave used in a dental setting should be examined for biological indicators at least once a week. The technician may elect to use spore monitoring strips or resort to a “mail-in” service to check for the presence of harmful microbes.


It’s worth pointing out that, in addition to the above, a dental practice may be subject to state and local regulations that might impose further regulatory obligations. Dental professionals have a responsibility to stay current with any applicable guidelines.

MadgeTech Cooling Flags Benefit the Meat and Poultry Industry

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The cooking of meat is a regulated process that requires temperature values to meet standards within the regulated period of time, even throughout the cooling process. Exclusively used in the meat and poultry industry, cooling flags can track the cooling of smoked or cooked meats.

Verification of the cooling process must be available for compliance validation. Data loggers are used to record and track the specified cooking and cooling temperatures. Within the MadgeTech 4 Data Logging Software, the cooling flags feature inserts annotations within a graph that specify (flag) when certain temperature thresholds are met as the meat cools.

When the temperature drops and a cooling flag is reached, but the temperature then rises above this cooling flag by 5 degrees or more, the software knows something is wrong. An alert is then generated and any other cooling flags that are set will be cancelled. This notifies the user immediately, providing the opportunity to correct the problem before the product is compromised. 

In the meat industry, the RFOT Wireless Meat Data Logger is widely used and built to last. This data logger can withstand the harsh smokehouse environment while accurately recording internal meat temperature with its built-in rugged probe.

With a Madgetech wireless data logger, cooling flags are displayed within the software while the data logger is in use, giving you real-time updates. The use of multiple cooling flags allows you to see how much time has passed between each flag while also allowing you to monitor the cooling process for multiple, consecutive cycles.

A cooling flag data summary is displayed in the Report Properties, clearly and concisely, making the information available for records or reference. This feature saves time and simplifies the reporting process required for product safety validation.

MadgeTech continues to develop features and improvements that assist meat, poultry and food processors with simplified compliance and validation. To learn more about the MadgeTech Data Logger Software, click here.