Choosing a strategy to avoid inhibit serious contamination of healthcare textiles (HCTs) and garments requires compliance with the correct laundering standards every step of the way, according to the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) board president John Scherberger.

He was responding to a recent report published by Clinical Infectious Diseases, which concluded that suboptimal laundry conditions contributed to the outbreak of pulmonary and cutaneous zygomycosis in a Hong Kong hospital.

Scherberger says that since the study was published, HLAC board members have received calls from infectious disease doctors who want to know what healthcare laundries are doing to prevent additional outbreaks such as those that occurred in Hong Kong. "What’s key – and what we’re telling everyone – is to ensure that laundry providers follow the most rigorous end-to-end standards for infection prevention," he said.

He added that a better strategy is for healthcare professionals to insist that their laundry provider is accredited by an organisation whose purpose is to ensure that current industry standards and guidelines are being followed every step of the way.