UK-based Oxoid said its Air Sampler uses impaction technology. It is portable, making it suitable for monitoring at critical locations within food manufacturing facilities, including preparation, filling and packaging areas. With the increased regulatory focus on food safety, companies have been on the market to monitor for the presence of pathogens throughout their manufacturing processes. The Oxoid Air Sampler has a keypad menu in a choice of languages to lead the user through a variety of preset or user-defined functions. The company claims validation studies have demonstrated that the sampler can pick up all particles of 0.8 to 19.0 microns. It can accommodate 55mm and 90mm plates and has flexible plate holders which allow for slight variation in plate diameter. The unit is supplied with a 90mm sampling head as standard, with a 55mm sampling head available as an optional accessory. Sample details, including date, time, location, sampled volume and operator identification, are stored within the unit. The stored information can be seen on the unit's alpha-numeric display and can be downloaded to a computer for reporting and trend analysis. The sampler is supplied fully calibrated with a certificate traceable to recognised international standards, the company said. The sample head can be changed, or removed for cleaning, without the need for recalibration, the company stated. Oxoid recommends that companies calibrate the machine at six to twelve monthly intervals after purchase, said Cheryl Mooney, the company's food and industrial applications manager. "It can be used proactively in the routine screening of food manufacturing and processing sites, or reactively, in the investigation of potential contamination problems," she stated. Oxoid is part of Thermo Fisher Scientific.