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Preventing Cross-contamination

Good practices and careful attention can prevent contamination from block to block from occurring during the embedding step.
  1. Open only ONE cassette at a time.
  2. Open lids, mesh bags, and lens papers carefully to avoid specimen fragments from "flipping" outward and potentially being lost.
  3. Wipe forceps between each specimen. Be especially careful with forceps bearing small "teeth" or grooves at the tips.
  4. Wash non-disposable base molds frequently. It is good practice to wipe a mold that has previously been used with a gauze pad before using for another specimen.
  5. Embed any pieces that appear to "not belong" or to be contamination from grossing or handling into a far corner of the block face away from what you believe to be the intended specimen. This communicates that you think it "doesn't belong" and makes it easy to identify/locate for removal from the block if it is determined that it is a contamination.