SurfACE™ Sampling Solutions
in Food Production

Easy-to-use, sterile specimen collection and surface sampling kits for quality control and identification of hazards at critical control points in food production.

The environment is a principal source of microbiological contamination within a food processing facility. Environmental testing is therefore a crucial part of any food safety program. With a strong focus on environmental testing, Romer Labs provides a broad range of sampling solutions covering food production.

Environmental and Surface Sampling for Food Production Applications
Dry and pre-moistened sterile cellulose sponges and fabric swab are convenient, ready-to-use products. They eliminate the costly and time-consuming steps of diluent preparation, sterilization and application to the sampling devices. They are designed to make it more convenient to sample microbes from surfaces in food processing facilities and industrial settings. The use of different pre-moistening solutions enables a broad range of environmental and product (carcass) sampling applications.

Available pre-moistening solutions:
Dey-Engley Neutralizing Broth (DE) - DE neutralizing broth assists in the recovery of micro- organisms in samples taken from surfaces exposed to sanitizing agents. It neutralizes the bactericidal and bacteriostatic effects of sanitizing agents such as chlorine, quaternary ammonium compounds, iodine, phenolics, mercurials, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde. The medium also contains nutritive agents that aid in recovering and promoting the growth of microorganisms. Bromocresol purple is present in the broth as a colorimetric indicator.

Neutralizing Buffer (NB) – The neutralizing buffer assists in the recovery of microorganisms in samples taken from surfaces exposed to sanitizing agents. Of a different color from DE neutralizing broth, it offers the same neutralizing effect but does not include nutrition for the growth of microorganisms. It is therefore classified as a buffer instead of a broth.

Buffered Peptone Water (BPW) – Buffered Peptone Water is a pre-enrichment medium useful in isolating Salmonella from foods. During many food processes, Salmonella and other species can suffer sub-lethal injury from processes involving heat, desiccation, preservatives, pH changes or osmotic pressure shifts. BPW has been shown to facilitate resuscitation of stressed cells and is recommend in the ISO 18593 (Microbiology of the food chain — Horizontal methods for surface sampling) as a moistening solution sampling devices for the recovery of microorganisms from surfaces.

Letheen Broth (LB) – Letheen broth is a highly nutritional medium that contains lecithin and Tween 80. It is used for testing the efficacy of sanitizing protocols as lecithin neutralizes quaternary ammonium compounds while Tween 80 neutralizes phenols, hexachlorophene and formalin.

Maximum Recovery Diluent (MRD) - Maximum Recovery Diluent is formulated as recommended by ISO 18593 for use as a diluent for general purpose. It is also known as Peptone salt solution (0.1 % Peptone, 0.85 % NaCl).

SurfACE™ Sampling Buffers

• Sponge-Stick in individual 14.5x30cm (5.5 x 12") Twirl-Tie™ bag
• 7.5 x 4 cm (3 x 1.5") biocide-free cellulose sponge
• Sponge dry or pre-moistened
• Perfectly suited to sample gaps, drains and pipes
• Bags easily opened with attached pull tabs
• Label area for sample identification
• Fast, easy-to-use sponge release mechanism
• Thumb stop helps avoid accidental sponge contact
• Long stick (22 cm, 8.5") for hard-to-reach surfaces
• Easy-to-spot petrol-blue-colored stick
• Less plastic used in production
• No potentially toxic glues used to affix sponge to stick
• Hard plastics with potential to damage bag during transport eliminated
• Compatible with existing extendable poles


Label the bag in the white area. Ballpoint pens can be used. This sampling procedure does not require gloves!

Tear bag open by removing the tab. As an added safety measure, the tab is green-striped, making it easy to spot if lost.

Pull the bag down from the outside to release the stick. Do not touch the inner surface of the bag.

Collect the sample by vigorously rubbing sponge on target area (e.g. 30 x 30 cm, 1 x 1 ft). Do not touch the stick below the thumb-stop located in the middle of the handle.

Return the stick to the bag, taking care to insert it no deeper than the thumb-stop.

Pull the sponge off the stick by grasping it from outside the bag. For best results, pull from the middle of the fork-like end, using your thumb and index finger to move the sponge back and forth until it gently releases from the stick.

Use the attached tie to close the Twirl-Tie™ bag by rolling the opening of the bag and then kinking the tie to the inner side.

• In Twirl-Tie™ bag
• 3" x 1.5" (7.5 x 3.5 cm) biocide-free cellulose sponge
• Available dry or pre-moistened with 10 ml buffer
• Bags can be opened easily with attached pull tabs
• Label area for sample identification
• Irradiated for proven sterility


Open bag or vial and remove sponge with gloved hand.

Collect sample by vigorously rubbing sponge on targeted area (e.g. 30 x 30 cm, 1 x 1 ft.).

Put sponge into the sterile sample bag (or back into the vial) and label bag with sample details. Always switch gloves between sampling sites.

Technical Specification Sheet
Item No. 10006157
Description Cellulose sponge attached to a quick release handle Twirl-Tie™ Bag, individually packed and dosed with 10 ml of Neutralizing Buffer
Intended Use For environmental surface sampling to collect and ship microbial samples
Components Cellulose sponge, quick release handle, 10 ml buffer, 11.5 x 30 cm Twirl-Tie™ bag

Lecithin 7 g/L,
Polysorbate 80 (Tween 80) 5 g/L
Potassium phosphate di-basic 8.5 g/L
Sodium Bisulfate 1.25 g/L
Sodium Phosphate di-basic 3 g/L
Sodium Thioglycolate 1g/L
Sodium Thiosulfate 6 g/L
Sterilization Sterilized by irradiation at dosage of 35 KGy
Shelf Life 12 months from date of production
Storage Conditions 4-25 °C; protect from light, heat and moisture
Pack Size 75 in a box
Quality Control Recovery/inhibitory of microorganisms
Neutralizing Effects
Conformity Product is to conform with ISO 18593:2018 "Microbiology of the food chain - Horizontal methods for surface sampling"