What is Autoclave Indicator Tape?
Autoclave tape changes color ONLY when exposed to a certain temperature, usually 121 degrees Celcius. It is an adhesive used to wrap sets of instruments or packages that are going to be sterilized.
I have also seen them affixed to sterilization pouches as a stand alone indicator. Some pouches come with the tear off ones that you throw inside. These temperature indicators must be used in conjunction with biological indicator tests. These are the spore tests.
Spore tests use two of the most resistant types of fungus to steam, Bacillus atrophaeus and Geobacillus stearothermophilus. The thinking is that if the spores of these two strains have been killed, nothing else should survive.
As a side note, I’m starting to see cracks in this logic as new super viruses and super bugs pop up. Hopefully, we don’t see “super fungus” strains that skirt detection.