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Yeast contamination: are home-baking and work-cell-culture incompatible? - (Nov/20/2009 )

Hi everyone,

I've got a bit of a quandary and I'd like to hear your input. My
roommate bakes bread, and I do cell culture at the lab. I know that
some labs have experienced yeast contamination of their cell lines,
attributed to baking or brewing at home.

Do you have any particular tips, other than stringent good lab
practice, that can really help prevent any contamination? I can't
prohibit her from baking (nor do I want to), but are there any special
precautions that she/we can take at home?

And from your experience: are there any of you who do bake bread at
home, without problems at work? (am I worrying overly much?)

Thanks in advance,

-Megan Barker-

hey Megan - IMO you're worrying too much. if you get a problem with yeast contamination, it's much more likely to be due to the yeast on your skin (it's part of your normal flora) falling into your culture stuff.


I bake bread frequently (yeast and sourdough) and do quite a bit of cell culture without problems. As Aimikins said you are more likely to shed yeast from your skin than you are to get yeast in your cultures from another person.

So long as your technique is good and you are working properly in hood, you should be fine.