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Physical and Chemical Control of Microbes

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The natural condition of humanity is to share surroundings with a large, diverse population of microorganisms. The complete exclusion of microbes from the environment is not only impossible but of questionable value. In many instances, however, our health and comfort can depend on the ability to destroy, inhibit, and remove microbes in the habitats we share. These techniques, also known as antimicrobial control, are very broad in scope. They include routine activities such as cleaning, refrigeration, and cooking. They are also of central importance in the medical, dental, and commercial settings to prevent infection and spoilage, and to ensure the safety of food, water, and other products. Both this chapter and chapter 12 will survey important aspects of microbial control.

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