MedUni Vienna conducts food hygiene, water hygiene and medical hygiene analyses.
In addition to its main tasks of science and teaching at the Medical University of Vienna, TheInstitute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology also offers a wide range of analyses in the field of water hygiene, food hygiene and medical hygiene. These practical findings are fed into teaching and research for the university education of doctors and natural science students.
The Food Hygiene Division is concerned with the quality of foodstuffs, hygiene in public kitchens and domestic hygiene. Hygiene inspections are an important component in medical Quality Assurance and self-monitoring in a hospital. They are designed to ensure and document that the hygiene conditions in hospitals and other medical facilities are such as to minimise the probability of any detrimental impacts upon the health of patients or staff.
Kitchen hygiene inspections and staff training in a public kitchen serve to analyse infection hazards, assess and minimise risks and establish monitoring procedures. A hygiene plan serves to eliminate any infection risks in the facilities in question. In addition to the hygiene regulations, the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) concept also takes account of "food quality" and "food safety" and is applied at all production stages.
The Food Hygiene Division offers the following services relating to kitchen hygiene:
- Checking the equipment and organisation of the kitchen area
- Microbiological analysis of foodstuffs (raw food, ready meals)
- Microbiological inspection of technical equipment, e.g. dishwashing facilities
- Personal hygiene checks such as hand contact samples
- Hygiene inspections of the kitchen (contact samples from surfaces)
- Airborne germ count analyses in different rooms (impaction method)
The Water Hygiene Division is concerned with the quality of drinking water and drinking water resources, water in healthcare institutions and for medical purposes, water in swimming pools and surface water and wastewater, insofar as it relates to human health. Prevention of water-associated diseases can only be successful if systems are considered holistically and from an ecological perspective. The results obtained are not only used in scientific publications but also in national and international standards and guidelines, to fulfill social responsibility not only from a scientific but also from a health perspective.
The Division's expertise includes inspection, examination, assessment and consulting on matters relating to water hygiene. The accredited testing and inspection body is authorised to inspect and assess drinking water and mineral water pursuant to § 73 Austrian Food Safety and Consumer Protection Act (LMSVG) and employs hygiene experts pursuant to the Act on Hygiene at Swimming Pools and Bathing Waters in Austria (Bäderhygienegesetz). As the first accredited laboratory at MedUni Vienna, it makes its chemical, microbiological and water treatment expertise available to carry out water hygiene assessments and to provide specialist support to healthcare institutions, water suppliers and specialist firms. It also operates one of the world's four type-testing facilities for UV disinfection plants. It is also particularly concerned to pass on the knowledge obtained to society in the form of lectures, professional training events, the formulation of standards and consultancy services.
Key areas of research for the Division include water disinfection and treatment, disinfection by-products, groundwater microbiology and microbial contamination of water resources, the ecology of microorganisms relevant for health (pathogens and faecal indicator bacteria in the environment and in technical systems) and the ecology of microorganisms in drinking water and groundwater.
Medical hygiene is a subdivision of hospital hygiene and is concerned with the prevention of nosocomial (i.e. originating in a hospital) infections by using various measures to break chains of infection. The "Medical Hygiene" working group is therefore not only concerned with implementing the statutory inspections and checks required in healthcare facilities (hospital laundries, institutional or ward kitchens, ventilation systems etc.) but, above all, with checking disinfectants, supervising hygiene and assessing cleaning and disinfection equipment and processes and other questions relating to hygiene. Assessments and test reports are compiled in accordance with national, European and international standards.
The range of services includes:
- Disinfectant testing using the standard methods of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology and European standards (EN)
- Checking chemical, chemo-thermal and thermal cleaning and disinfection equipment
- Hygiene inspections etc.