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I've been using a small egg incubator to grow environmental bacteria in petri dishes. I always wear gloves and glasses when I handle the plates and do Gram staining. How likely is it that bacteria grown on dish could become airborne when I open the incubator or the dishes themselves?

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  • $\begingroup$ the type of egg incubator would be important that is a vast variety which produce very different risks. $\endgroup$ – John Mar 1 '18 at 18:02
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A good practice to minimize the contamination of a Petri dish and of the external environment is by never completely removing the lid of the Petri dish: to access the content of the Petri dish with an inoculation loop, lift the lid on one side, slowly: just high enough for the inoculation loop to get in, get some of the content, and get out.

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if you keep the petri dishes covered there will be little or no contamination and there will be negligible e coli aerosol when you open the incubator. as mentioned by @MartinKivana don't open the plates, esp near the incubator. In a sterile environment is better...

if you don't keep the petri dishes covered your experiment will be ruined.

you can wipe it down with bleach once in a while...

so that about covers it.

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