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Ambient and Compressed Air Testing

Air quality monitoring within a food processing facility is a crucial component of maintaining a comprehensive environmental monitoring program. Without proper engineering for directing the flow of air and active monitoring of the air within the processing areas, bioaerosols may become a source of product contamination that compromises the safety and quality of foods produced. As such, commonly adopted food safety and quality management programs (e.g., BRC, SQF) prescribe the need for managing and monitoring the microbiological quality of the air to control the risk of product contamination from bioaerosols. In addition to direct contamination of the product, the bioaerosols may land on processing surfaces or equipment and when the right conditions exist (e.g., moisture, organic matter), the physical surfaces harboring microbial contaminants have the potential to be a vector of cross-contamination. Compressed air can also come in direct contact with food products. For example, it can be utilized for adding air into packages to protect food products such as a bag of chips or for cleaning debris off large surfaces that come in contact with the products. Since compressed air can harbor microorganisms and contribute to the contamination of the finished products, it is important that all types of air systems with potential product safety and spoilage implications are continually monitored.

When testing for the microbiological quality of ambient and compressed air, the methods outlined below are air testing strategies that are commonly used:

  •  Sedimentation (settling) method for ambient air monitoring
    •  Standard agar plates utilized for growth of bacteria and fungi (yeast and mold) are directly exposed to the areas of interest for a user-specified length of time (generally 15 minutes). Airborne particles are deposited onto the surface of agar plates by the force of gravity. The plates are incubated in accordance with the applicable methods and bacterial or fungal colonies counts are obtained. While the sedimentation method offers a relatively simple and inexpensive means to collect ambient air samples, this method of air sampling selects for heavier particles that settle rapidly as the method relies on the gravitational force for sample collection.
  • Supplies and EMSL Test Codes


  • Impaction method for ambient air monitoring and compressed air testing
    • The impaction method involves actively drawing a specified volume of air via a mechanical vacuum. Particles suspended in the air are pulled in through a perforated metal plate and impacted onto the surface of agar plates and subsequently incubated to observe bacterial or fungal growth. This method has the advantage of allowing users to standardize the amount of air collected, thus enabling normalization of the data over sampling events. On the other hand, the method requires the rental or purchasing of the equipment as well as careful handling and training to avoid contamination of the apparatus prior to sampling.
  • Supplies and EMSL Test Codes



  • Impactor Samplers


Air Quality Testing in Food Facilities - Ambient and Compressed Air



Full list of services provided for Air Quality Testing in Food Facilities (Ambient and Compressed Air) ( click for details )
Laboratories providing Air Quality Testing in Food Facilities (Ambient and Compressed Air) ( click for details )
Atlanta, GA (LAB 07) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-1Baton Rouge, LA (LAB 25) - NVLAP Lab Code 200375-0Beltsville, MD (LAB 19) - NVLAP Lab Code 200293-0Boston, MA (LAB 13) - NVLAP Lab Code 101147-0Buffalo, NY (LAB 14) - NVLAP Lab Code 200056-0Carle Place, NY (LAB 06) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-10Charlotte, NC (LAB 41) - NVLAP Lab Code 200841-0Chicago, IL (LAB 26) - NVLAP Lab Code 200399-0Cinnaminson, NJ (LAB List in Description) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-0Dallas, TX (LAB 11) - NVLAP Lab Code 600111-0Denver, CO (LAB 22) - NVLAP Lab Code 200828-0EMSL Canada - Calgary, AB (LAB 65) - NVLAP Lab Code 500100-0EMSL Canada - Edmonton, AB (LAB 50) - NVLAP Lab Code 600321-0EMSL Canada - Markham, ON (LAB 66) - NVLAP Lab Code 600317-0EMSL Canada - Montreal, QC (LAB 68) - NVLAP Lab Code 201052-0EMSL Canada - Ottawa, ON (LAB 67) - NVLAP Lab Code 201040-0EMSL Canada - Toronto, ON (LAB 55) - NVLAP Lab Code 200877-0EMSL Canada - Vancouver, BC (LAB 69) - NVLAP Lab Code 201068-0Fort Lauderdale, FL (LAB 56) - NVLAP Lab Code 500085-0Houston, TX (LAB 15) - NVLAP Lab Code 102106-0Huntington Beach, CA (LAB 33) - NVLAP Lab Code 101384-0Indianapolis, IN (LAB 16) - NVLAP Lab Code 200188-0Kernersville, NC (LAB 02) - NVLAP Lab Code 102104-0Las Vegas, NV (LAB 31) - NVLAP Lab Code 600140-0Long Island City, NY (LAB 03) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-9Meriden, CT (LAB 24) - NVLAP Lab Code 200700-0Miami, FL (LAB 17) - NVLAP Lab Code 200204-0Minneapolis, MN (LAB 35) - NVLAP Lab Code 200019-0Ontario, California (San Bernadino County / Inland Empire) (LAB 71) - NVLAP Lab Code 600239-0Orlando, FL (LAB 34) - NVLAP Lab Code 101151-0Phoenix, AZ (LAB 12) - NVLAP Lab Code 200811-0Piscataway, NJ (LAB 05) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-2Plymouth Meeting, PA (LAB 18) - NVLAP Lab Code 200699-0Raleigh, NC (LAB 29) - NVLAP Lab Code 200671-0Rochester, NY (LAB 53) - NVLAP Lab Code 600183-0San Diego, CA (LAB 43) - NVLAP Lab Code 200855-0San Leandro, CA (LAB 09) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-3Santa Clara, CA (LAB 47) - NVLAP Lab Code 600318-0Seattle, WA (LAB 51) - NVLAP Lab Code 200613-0South Pasadena, CA (LAB 32) - NVLAP Lab Code 200232-0South Portland, ME (LAB 62) - NVLAP Lab Code 500094-0St. Louis, MO (LAB 39) - NVLAP Lab Code 200742-0Syracuse, NY (LAB 73) - NVLAP Lab Code 600283-0Tampa, FL (LAB 93) - NVLAP Lab Code 600215-0
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