Forensic Swabs For Crime Scene DNA Evidence

Advancing Swab Science

Forensic Swabbing

Throat swab used to diagnose diphtheria, England, 1901-1930
Puritan Sterile DNA Controlled Cotton Swab with Transport Tube P25-806-1PC-BT-FABUSA
Puritan Sterile DNA Controlled Cotton Swab with Transport Tube P25-806-1PC-BT-FABUSA used as a forensic swab and diagnostics.

For many years, fingerprints evidence was the standard for investigating and linking suspects to a crime scene. Rapid evaluation of forensic swabs science has shaped DNA evidence as the gold standard.

A few cells are all an investigation team needs to obtain in order to get enough DNA information to identify a suspect.

DNA analysis has been helping law enforcement agencies solve crimes for more than three decades.

DNA swabbing plays a critical role in streamlining crime scene investigation. They enable forensic professionals to extract valuable information from even the smallest samples of saliva, urine, blood, and other tissues.

However, it is important to consider that the effectiveness of forensic analysis depends on the quality of sample collection tools and methods. Low-quality sample collection, storage and transportation media can lead to potentially invalidated results.

How to swab for DNA evidence

The collection of DNA evidence is a highly effective technique used worldwide to solve investigations.

It is essential for medical examiners, forensic scientists, and crime scene investigators to master DNA specimen collection methods.

At a crime scene, both physical evidence, such as a weapon, and biological evidence such as sweat or blood could yield DNA samples. If someone touched a weapon or object, various forms of touch DNA might have been left behind.

In case the crime scene provides a clear source of DNA, the sample can be collected using proven tools like swabs. Here is a simple process to swab for DNA evidence:

Preparation

Preparation is the first step you should take to ensure effective DNA swabbing. Make sure your staff is well-trained and well-equipped. Approved personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves (and possibly even shoe covers, hair nets, and masks depending on the scene) must be used during DNA swab collection.

Proper preparation will help you avoid contamination of samples which can become a critical issue in court proceedings.

Sterile swabs, distilled water, transport media, evidence tape and flashlights are some of the essentials your evidence collection kits should contain.

Swabbing

Swabbing is a preferred DNA sample collection method over taping. There are swabbing techniques used in accordance with the sample type (touch DNA, blood, sweat).

No matter the swabbing methods you implement, change gloves and forceps after each item is necessary to prevent cross contamination. Following are the three most popular techniques:

  • Swabbing for touch DNA
  • Double Swabbing for touch DNA
  • Swabbing bodily fluids like blood

Preserving Forensic Swabs

One of the most important parts of collecting cells is ensuring that the swab is completely dry during preservation and transportation. Some of the modern collection tubes are designed to ensure both effectiveness and convenience in preserving samples.

Here are some tips that will help you conduct a reliable DNA evidence collection process:

  • Wear protective gloves before removing the swab from its wrapper
  • Touch only the handle of a forensic swab
  • Pre-moisten the swab with sterile distilled water if the sample is dry
  • Place the tip of the swab on the surface and rotate it gently to allow tissues to absorb into the fibers
  • Put the swab tip-first into appropriate packaging and allow the sample to dry

There are several environmental factors such as temperature, mold, and bacteria that can affect the DNA at the crime scene.

Follow the pre-defined DNA collection procedures even if the crime scene has been compromised.

Use DNA-Controlled Swabs

When the job is to swab for evidence at crime scenes, you can choose from a number of techniques. But when it comes to DNA evidence collection, it is recommended to use DNA-controlled or DNA-free buccal swabs.

If the swab is not free of human contaminants like DNase and DNA, it could compromise the sample, and consequently, the case.

Therefore, always use buccal or DNA swabs certified by an independent laboratory.

Following are two popular types of buccal swabs used widely at crime scenes:

Flocked Swabs

HydraFlock® Flocked Sterile Swab, Elongated Tip P25-3806-H-2
HydraFlock® Flocked Sterile Forensic Swab, Elongated Tip P25-3806-H-2

DNA-free flocked swabs are ideal when you have to deal with an extremely small sample size.

Flocked swabs are being increasingly used for forensic processes due to their unique structure which helps crime investigators collect, retain, and elute specimen better than other low-quality swabs.

A flocked swab is also handy when it comes to collecting touch DNA from fingerprints or skin cells, or residue from arso, gunshots, or explosions.

Cotton Swabs

Puritan Cap-Shure Sterile Cotton Forensic Swab: 25-806-1WC-EC

If the sample is large enough and there is no need for advanced collection and elution, a sterile cotton swab, either with polystyrene or wooden handle, will do the job.

If it is not required to transfer the sample to FTA cards, it is recommended to use cotton swabs, not only for DNA collection but also for other medical applications.

About Harmony Business Supplies

Need a forensic swab supplier? Harmony can help. Get premium quality buccal swabs ideal for collecting DNA samples from crime scenes.

Forensic professionals have been relying on Harmony for our large collection of cost-effective swabbing solutions.

Available with cotton, flocked and foam tips, our forensic swabs are certified for forensic work and tested to the most stringent standards.

Visit our online store to learn more about our collection of forensic swabs.

A Guide to Safety and Protective Apparel

Safety and Protective Apparel: Types And Applications

Protective and Safety apparel can seem like simple protective equipment. But selecting appropriate apparel can be a daunting process.

Many occupational applications including:

  • traffic management
  • construction
  • manufacturing,
  • chemical handling
  • networking
  • virtually all industries need safety gear of some variety

Some industries require employers carry out risk assessment and provide safety equipment. It’s important to understand what workplace hazards are and how we can address them.

Occupational Hazards and Assessment

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to protect your employees from occupational risks. For that, you need to put in place a risk management.

Relying solely on protective apparel to keep safe is only acceptable when you have carried out hazard assessment and control.

Selecting the right protective equipment for the nature of your employee’s specific job can be a challenging task. Consider applicable laws and draft safety policies and procedures.

It is also important to understand limitations of your protective equipment. If we take an example of a pair of protective eyewear, you will find a warning label saying, “not a substitute for good safety practices and engineering controls”. It means that PPE is the last line of defense against occupational hazards, not the primary one.

Types of Protective and Safety Apparel

There are so many different types of safety apparel that you can choose from depending on the environment of your facility or workplace.

We can classify safety apparel into the following two categories:

  1. PPE or protective apparel
  2. Safety Apparel

High Visibility safety apparel is a kind of workwear that improves your visibility at night or in bad weather.

It serves two purposes:

  1. Makes wearer more visible to traffic
  2. Makes them stand out against background environment

ANSI compliant workwear includes:

  • Durable Safety Jackets
  • Rain Pants
  • Thermal Pants
  • Reflective Safety Bomber Jackets

PPE or protective apparel protects the wearer against many workplace hazards. Such as dirt, chemical spills, containing hair and particle generation, etc.

Safety Apparel clothing is the basic need of workers who have to deal with various hazards on daily basis. However, these safety items allow for particle penetration.

PPE apparel handling can increase the likelihood of contamination. People who have to work in strictly controlled environments can’t wear regular PPE apparel as it can contaminate the environment. Use Disposable apparel designed for cleanrooms instead.

Safety Apparel/Gear

Following are some of the major types of safety apparel:

High-visibility safety clothing [safety apparel]:

High Visibility Safety Apparel
High Visibility Safety Outerwear Apparel

Defined as PPE apparel designed to make the wearer more visible. Low visibility is one of the causes of fatal occupational injuries at construction sites.

Wear high-viz shirts, pants, coveralls, jackets, or any other high-visibility safety apparel to ensure workers’ safety in low-light working conditions.

Whether in office or industrial setting, proper lighting makes all work tasks safer because the sense of sight generates about 85 percent of the information.

If your workplace does not offer proper lightning, make sure your staff wears the right high visibility apparel for the job.

Check out some of the popular high-visibility safety apparel on Harmony

Flame-retardant clothing [safety apparel]:

Flame-retardant clothing [safety apparel]
Flame-Retardant Safety Gear Apparel

These safety apparel protect the wearer against heat and fire up to a certain level. You shouldn’t completely rely on fire retardant clothing when working with open flames.

Compare your work environment or the potential temperature extremes with the ability of your safety gear to withstand heat.

In addition to rubber gloves and aprons, PPE clothing is also designed to prevent harmful exposure to industrial chemicals.

Personal Protective Apparel

Disposable Apparel Protects yourself from particles, liquids, and chemicals in your work environment. Different materials to suit your specific application and offer different areas of protection.

CE apparel protects the wearer as well as the critical product or production process from contamination. The flat-folded CE safety wearables assure that particles do not escape into the critical environment. In cleanrooms, all sources of contamination are strictly controlled.

Disposable Food Safety Bouffant Caps
Disposable Food Safety Bouffant Caps

Clean rooms protective equipment is specifically designed to prevent airborne particles from entering the sterile atmosphere.

Industries such as pharmaceutical, medical, food, and space aeronautical maintain clean rooms as a part of their production processes.

Protective apparel plays a critical role in maintaining the sensitivity of a manufacturing environment.

Here is a couple of examples of protective or CE apparel:

Face Masks [protective apparel]:

Anti-Viral Face Masks
Disposable Anti-Viral Face Masks

Diverse protective product used by a large number of industries; notably, food and pharmaceutical. Face masks not only help the wearer inhale clean air but also function as a tool to maintain a healthy environment.

From Antiviral face masks to Isolation masks, there are hundreds of different types of face masks with literally limitless applications.

Disposable Coveralls [protective apparel]:

Premier Pro SMS Blue Coveralls with Hood & Boot
Premier Pro SMS Blue Coveralls with Hood & Boot

They are manufactured for both protective and safety applications. CE coveralls provide a dry and liquid particulate barrier protection, reducing contamination risks to maintain the cleanliness of the cleanroom.

Beard Covers [protective apparel]:

Disposable Beard Covers
Disposable Beard Covers

Disposable protective apparel such as beard covers and hair nets are the top choice of companies associated with food, research, medicine, and laboratories.

Selecting the right protective or safety apparel for your industrial or commercial application requires diligence.

Communicate with your industry partners whose employees deal with the same kinds of hazards. Ensure your employees’ safety.

About Harmony

Harmony Business Supplies is a well-reputed wholesale supplier of PPE and occupational apparel. We provide premium quality occupational garments and equipment at affordable rates.

You can find a broad assortment of disposable and safety apparel. Visit our site for more information!

Food Safety and Surface Sanitation Tips

Food Safety and Surface Sanitation Tips

Basic Food Safety Tips: 5 Minute Crash Course

Food Handling Safety. Maintaining a safe and clean work environment is critical in preventing foodborne illness. Bacteria and other harmful elements can grow on dirty surfaces and contaminate food.

 

A work area that looks clean should not be considered a sanitized environment. As a food handler or restaurant owner, make sure that your food handling meets sanitation standards. And that you are delivering safe-to-eat food to customers.

Food can become contaminated at any stage during preparation, distribution, and production. Every individual along the production chain should be equipped and trained in food safety. Unfortunately, most of the food handling facilities (such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, institutional cafeteria, etc.) do not give due attention to sanitation. This is why a great majority of people experience foodborne diseases.

Why is food safety important?

According to World Health Organization, more than 200 diseases spread through food. This fact highlights the importance of making sure the food we consume is not contaminated. Such contaminated can be harmful chemicals toxins, parasites, viruses, and bacteria. To improve the situation, WHO built the Five Keys to safer food. This helps countries promote safe food handling practices and procedures. And educates people associated with the food industry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million Americans fall prey to foodborne illness annually. Restaurants and other places  food is processed or handled have an obligation to ensure consumers are protected against foodborne health issues. It can take only one incident to tarnish your brand.

Food safety tips and basics

There are 4 basic principles of food safety: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Use food service wipes to clean anything that comes into contact with food, or is a food contact surface. Separate raw meat and seafood from cooked items to prevent cross-contamination. Preparing various food items, such as meat and poultry, at an optimal temperature also helps to kill pathogens. Besides that, refrigerate food promptly.

Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray
Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray

How to improve food safety

How can you establish food-safety practices without spending too much money and time? The following are some of precautionary measures  you can consider and put in place for enhanced food safety:

  • Reduce the risk of non-compliance from workers throughout the food handling system.
  • Simplify sanitation practices by adopting easy-to-use sanitizing food equipment.
  • Proper food handling and sanitation (consistent cleaning of food contact surfaces with all-encompassing products such as quat disinfectant cleaners)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel, disposable paper towel or food service wipes
  • Instruct your workers to wear and change disposable food gloves frequently
  • Ensure supply chain compliance with recommended food-safety practices.
  • Always use recommended and approved products to ensure food contact surface sanitation.

Polyethylene Food Service and Handling GlovesPolyethylene Food Service and Handling Gloves

DuraSkin Blue Vinyl Gloves, Powder-Free
DuraSkin Blue Vinyl Gloves, Powder-Free

Personal hygiene and affordable solutions

Apart from training  programs, provide employees with enough facilities and sanitation products to improve your sanitary conditions. Food service wipes, for example, are an inexpensive and valuable sanitation item.

Help your staff improve hygiene without doing anything complex or difficult. Use polyester towels made to ensure food contact surface sanitation. Get food service towels, Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaners, and other proven food safety products in bulk. Better prepare your facility to meet sanitation requirements.

Chix Medium-Duty Foodservice Towels with Microban
Chix Medium-Duty Foodservice Towels with Microban

Personal hygiene is especially important for food handlers and food servers. Employees with infected sores or cuts should not be allowed to prepare or serve food.

Employees who have anything to do with food or food contact surfaces must be given training so that they can understand the idea of personal or environmental hygiene. Food handlers are people who manufacture, prepare, process, deliver, transport or serve food. Even people who clean equipment and premises should be aware of sanitation and cleanliness.

Clorox Pro Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner
Clorox Pro Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner

The impact of sanitation

The significance of food workplace sanitation goes beyond regulatory actions. Cleaning activities must done in a manner that will not harm workers.

There are some sanitation tasks that require staff to clean potentially dangerous equipment. But, having a proper sanitation apparel and safety gear can improve the productivity of your food business.

Conclusion

Food safety has become a vital global public health issue as consumers suffer from many foodborne diseases. Health concerns from foodborne pathogens make it mandatory for the food industry to take actions to mitigate the situation.

Regulatory authorities and government agencies worldwide are putting their efforts to enhance food safety so that no one suffers following the consumption of food items.

Start improving food sanitation conditions at your facility. Provide employees with simple and affordable solutions. Use food service wipes, food gloves, and disinfectant cleaners.

Keep your restaurant’s reputation intact and keep customers coming back. Put in place recommended food safety practices and stock approved food handling products. Prepare your employees to both prevent and react to food safety issues.

About us

Get a broad range of high-quality and cost-effective food sanitation wipes, food gloves, and other food service products. Keep your restaurant’s reputation intact and reduce the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Practice good food safety habits. Improve the quality of your food handling processes, and ensure customer satisfaction. Browse through our food safety products to find what suits your business. Or get in touch via phone or online chat.

See More Food Service Supplies

 

 

How Do You Choose The Best Food Safety Disposable Apparel?

How Do You Choose The Best Food Safety Disposable Apparel?

Food Safety Disposable Apparel Ensures Sanitary Food

Learn About Disposable Food Handling Apparel In 7 Minutes

Poor personal hygiene leads to serious health issues. Especially in facilities where people process and serve food products. The solution? Food Safety Disposable Apparel.

Business owners and safety managers have to ensure that customers get 100% safe food. Businesses in the food industry have to follow food safety standards and rules.

Develop strict safety practices for your work environment and help avoid foodborne illness.

Impact of foodborne illness

Millions of food poisoning cases happen every year. People suffer food poisoning when they consume contaminated food.

Common causes of foodborne illness include:
inadequate cooking, contaminated equipment, inexperienced food handlers, and absence of Food Safety standards.

General safe food handling practices

Consider all safety rules while handling food to prevent various diseases. From the moment food processing begins, to serving time, safety should be at the top of your list.

Food businesses must have employees, particularly food handlers, receive proper training in hygiene. Make use of Disposable Apparel and other products such as:
disinfectants, food gloves, hair nets, and beard covers.

Tips for safe food preparation

Only a few factors related to food handling lead to a large proportion of foodborne diseases.
 
Some factors are:
 
  • Prior Preparation of food several hours before consumption
  • packaging and storage at temperatures which help growth of harmful bacteria
  • Cross-contamination
  • Food handlers with poor personal hygiene
  • Inappropriate use of Food Safety Disposable Apparel and products
 
Useful tips that will help and your staff develop healthy food preparation environment:
 
Food handlers must understand the right process and temperature required to kill pathogens.

Use food service disposable apparel

Food service safety products can help your staff maintain cleanliness throughout every process.
 
Some recommended products your staff should use to prevent contamination:

Hair nets and bouffant caps:

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Light and Disposable, hairnets are small pieces of fine net that people wear to hold hair in place. Keep hair contained during food preparation or other jobs affected by human hair.
 
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Hair nets help food handlers keep the work area hair-fee. They provide your employees a comfortable way to restrain their hair and do their job . Honeycomb Hair Nets and Disposable Bouffant Caps are dependable and comfortable options for food service apparel.

Beard covers:

Polypropylene Food Safety Beard Covers
Polypropylene Food Safety Beard Covers
Beard nets are another great product for food handlers who have facial hair. Food industry beard covers and hair nets help avoid contact between hair and food. Workers who don’t even touch the food should still have to wear hairnets.
 
There is a common misconception that beard or hair nets are uncomfortable. Beard covers are super lightweight and you’ll forget you’re wearing it!

Food service gloves:

DuraSkin Vinyl Food Service Gloves
DuraSkin Vinyl Food Service Gloves
The amounts of bacteria your body contains and sheds is surprising. Maintain good hygiene by providing protection. Use disposable food gloves made from various materials: latex rubber, vinyl, or nitrile.
 
There are many factors that define the effectiveness of such safety products. Vinyl food gloves protect foods from direct skin contact. They are easy to check and enforce than hand washing frequency. People can also use them to improve grip and prevent cross-contamination.
 
Sometimes food handlers wear the same pair of gloves while performing different tasks. Using the same gloves for food and non-food tasks will cross-contaminate your work. Don’t use the same pair of gloves for: money handling, food handling, cleaning, answering the phone, etc.
 
If your food requirements involve tasks other than handling food, remove and discard the food gloves. Perform the non-food related job, then wash hands before wearing a new pair.
 
The use of disposable gloves is a common practice in most food businesses. Food handlers sometimes use gloves to protect their hands rather than protecting the food they process, which is a wrong approach.
 
Tips for effective use of disposable food gloves:
 
● Use gloves designed for food handling
● Always sanitize or wash hands before wearing gloves
● Use high-quality vinyl or nitrile food gloves
● Change gloves to prevent cross-contamination
● Reinforce good hand hygiene practices

Avoid contact between cooked and raw food

Cooked food can become contaminated when it comes in contact with the raw food. There are many activities that can lead to cross-contamination.
 
When raw poultry items come into contact with the cooked item, or when someone prepares raw meat and then uses the same unwashed knife or hands to handle cooked meat.

Wash hands regularly

Develop a working environment where staff wash hands before preparing food. It is necessary to wash hands after handling poultry, fish, or meat. If some workers have an infection on their hand, make sure they cover wounds with the bandage. Besides wearing disposable gloves.

Keep food contact surfaces clean

Food is vulnerable to contamination. Keep surfaces used for food preparation clean. Food prep surfaces can be a reservoir of germs that can transfer into food and cause health concerns.
 
Clean food preparation areas with sanitation products like Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray and CHIX SC Food Service Towels that can also prevent contamination.
Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray
Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray

 

Why you and your staff should use Food Safety Disposable Apparel

Food safety standards demand that employees operating within food facilities take precautionary measures to ensure anything from their clothing and body does not contaminate food contact surface or the food itself. Minimize direct contact with food by wearing Food Safety Disposable Apparel.
 
It is up to you to identify vulnerable areas and take steps to ensure safe food handling. For instance, you can make it mandatory to wear food gloves for people who work in food preparation. Define food service policies and hygiene standards so that your staff can comply.
 
Almost every food working environment requires regular use of food handler gloves. Staff must change the gloves as often as they would have washed their hands.

Recommended food service products

A business can find a variety of food service gloves, hair nets, beard covers, and other safety products. Yet, it is important to buy solutions that are both affordable and dependable.
 
Recommended products that you can use to ensure safe food service:
 
● Polypropylene Beard Covers that cover beard and mustaches and keep hair contained.
● Vinyl Food Service Gloves are a very low-cost food protection solution
● Bouffant Caps are FDA approved, lightweight hair restraints
● Honeycomb Hair Nets offer a cost-effective way to maintain cleanliness
 
Good food hygiene within your facility is not something optional, it’s essential. Provide germ-free and safe food to customers, and achieve a good food hygiene rating.
 
You cannot risk the reputation of your business by delivering contaminated food. Abide by food laws and keep your customers healthy by using the mentioned practices and food service products.

About us

We at Harmony supply Disposable Apparel and other food safety/service supplies to businesses across the US and the world. Browse through our site and find the best products at attractive discounts.
 
We are determined to keep your workplace safe and clean. Give us a quick call to know more about our products.

 

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