Food safety is an important issue in most developed countries. Preserved foods can be plagued by a number of bacterial agents, including salmonella. Scientists study salmonella cells in a laboratory setting to help create manufacturing methods that will protect food sources against contamination.

A growth medium is needed to support bacterial life in a lab setting. The growth medium of choice when working with salmonella is buffered peptone water. Although it is considered a stable and relatively safe substance, buffered peptone water should be handled with care.

Avoid Skin Exposure

Buffered peptone water is not classified as a hazardous substance. This does not mean that you shouldn't take precautions when working with the growth medium in your laboratory. Exposure to the skin could result in the development of a rash or skin irritation that can be quite uncomfortable.

Always wear protective gear to protect your skin against accidental exposure to buffered peptone water when you are conducting research on salmonella growth and development.

Manage Dust

Some buffered peptone water products are shipped in a dehydrated dust form. This allows for more stable storage of the growth medium until it is needed for use in a research setting.

Managing the dust properly is critical to the safety of your personnel and work environment. In its dust form, buffered peptone water is extremely flammable. This means that you need to store dust supplies safely away from all heat and potential ignition sources.

If a spill does occur, immediately turn off all ignition sources and use non-sparking hand tools to clean up. You should wear a breathing apparatus to avoid inhaling peptone dust, as exposure to the dust could irritate your lungs and airway.

Dispose of Properly

It's critical that you dispose of your used buffered peptone water in a safe and efficient manner. You don't want to allow the growth medium to find its way into municipal sewer or septic systems. Since the growth medium encourages the multiplication of bacteria species, peptone water in the sewer could cause serious damage.

Absorb any spills in an inert material and shovel the material into a large bucket. Pour used growth medium into a disposal bucket that can be sealed as well. These buckets can be retrieved by a disposal company that specializes in the treatment of biological waste products.

The proper use and handling of buffered peptone water is essential when it comes to maintaining the safety and efficiency of your laboratory.