Handling and Safety Instructions

All consignments containing microorganisms must be unpacked in an appropriately equipped laboratory. Microorganisms, including genetically modified organisms, may be pathogenic to humans, animals or plants. Therefore, cultures must be handled by, or under the supervision of, persons trained and competent in microbiological techniques. Before handling the organism, the user has to inform himself of national regulations governing work with microorganisms. Cultivation and handling is restricted to laboratories meeting the containment requirements laid down by the national authorities. DSMZ delivers only biological material which can be handled up to containment level 2.

Please see detailed information below or download our Handling and Safety Information (Sicherheitsdatenblatt):

1. Identification of the Agent
Do the strain numbers and species names correspond to your order and to the data given on the delivery note?

2. Hazards Identification: Risk Assessment and Laboratory Containment Level
Each microorganism delivered with a DSMZ consignment is classified according to German legislation (Biostoff-Verordnung). If a strain is allocated to Risk Group 2 (equivalent terms are Hazard Group or Biological Safety Level), this information is given on the DSMZ homepage under the respective species information and on the delivery note.

  • Required laboratory containment level: corresponds to the Risk Group of the microorganism. Observe national regulations.
  • Apart from infectivity/pathogenicity, genetically modified microorganisms are to be handled according to relevant national legislation and under contained use only.
  • Toxin production, if known: see 7.
  • Avoid all direct physical contact with the organism. Control dust (aerosols), skin and eye contact.

3. First Aid Measures
In case of contact, wash contaminated skin thoroughly with antiseptic soap and water. If wound contamination is suspected, seek immediate medical attention. In case of ingestion/inhalation, seek immediate medical attention. Inform medical practitioner of name of the microorganism.

4. Accidental Release Measures and Spillage/Environmental Precautions

  • Decontaminate/sterilize/autoclave all material which might be in contact with the culture.
  • Keep culture material away from drains, surface and ground water and soil.
  • If culture vial is accidentally broken, soak contaminated area with appropriate disinfectant.
  • Broken glass has to be picked up with forceps.

5. Handling and Storage
Ampoules/cultures must be opened and used by trained persons in a laboratory conforming to the appropriate containment level requirements.

  • All cultures delivered by DSMZ are for immediate use (see our conditions of delivery). Before use, store cultures in a cool, dark place if not stated otherwise.

6. Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
Depends upon the Risk Group of delivered culture and is described in the respective containment level instructions (in Germany, see the Biostoff-Verordnung). Precautionary measures such as lab coat and, protective gloves and glasses, if required, minimise worker's exposure.

7. Toxicological Information
See strain information as given in the catalogue of strains. Information given by DSMZ on possible or known toxin production of any strain is not exhaustive! DSMZ does not perform toxicity tests with cultures.

8. Disposal
Sterilize all cultures before disposal.

The information contained herein is offered for informational purposes only and is based on the present state of our knowledge. Recipients of our microorganisms must take responsibility for observing existing laws and regulations. DSMZ accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of this information.