Cooling times for various autoclave loads were recorded using thermocouples. Loads which may be encountered during normal laboratory working require between 17 and 174 minutes to cool to 100 degrees, C and up to 260 minutes to cool to 95 degrees C. Such long cooling times had an adverse effect on nutritive properties of bacteriological culture medium. Observations are made on some factors which influenced the cooling times, and the need for artificially assisted cooling is stressed. Recommendations are given for the safe operation of laboratory autoclaves.
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