What is Aseptic?
Aseptic is an adjective used to describe something that is free of germs or pathogenic microorganisms. It may be used in describing the processes involved in food preparation or the activities involved in a medical or surgical procedure. In all these instances, extreme care is taken to make the whole process “aseptic” or free from any form of infection. The word “aseptic” is a combination of “a” denoting “absence” and “septic” which is derived from sepsis or a form of infection from pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria. In simple terms, “aseptic” means “absence or free from bacteria or infection”.
In the field of medicine, all procedures and techniques used by doctors and other medical personnel are done with extreme care to avoid contamination of a particular body part or organ. In every surgical procedure for example, care must be taken so that bacteria will not be introduced into the surgical site. This is done in order to avoid infection and complications of the medical condition. All the medical equipment and even the doctor’s clothing are supposed to be sterile and free from contaminants to make sure that the whole procedure is aseptic and will not cause any harm to a particular patient.
Aseptic procedures or techniques may also be applied in food processing and preparation. The main goal in this area is to block pathogenic microorganisms to come in contact with any food item. This is done in order for people to avoid acquiring certain diseases and ailments. As with the field of medicine, some food products also undergo a process of sterilization to kill harmful microorganisms but still retain their nutrients. Aseptic procedures in food processing also involve the proper choice of materials for packaging in order to allow for longer storage of a particular food item.
Whether aseptic procedures are applied in a medical procedure or food preparation, the concept remains the same. Harmful microorganisms are to be avoided for safety and health reasons.