| FAQ - Sterilization - Archived Through 2012
What are the best methods to ensure sterility of stored instrument packages?
Maintain sterilized instruments in the pouches or wrapping in which they were sterilized. If the packaging becomes torn or wet, the items must be repackaged and heat sterilized. Avoid mingling non-sterile packages with sterile ones. There should be a visible indicator, such as chemical indicators or color-change autoclave tape on the outside of each package to allow staff to easily discern sterilized instrument packages from those that have not yet been heat-processed(1).
(1) CDC/Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended infection-control practices for dentistry, 1993. MMWR Morbid Mortal Weekly Rep 1993;42(RR-8):1-14. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00021095.htm