Incorporating structured linen oversight into an Infection Prevention program


      • Linen has been a linked source of pulmonary and cutaneous outbreaks of infections in hospitalized patients
      • Routine visits to the linen reprocessing facility provide oversight of reprocessing, distribution and storage practices to ensure compliance with national standards
      • A consult with the finding, associated standard(s) and recommended remediations is prepared and shared with leadership following each visit
      • Revisits and discontinuing linen reprocessing are dependent on findings


      Hospital linen is a potential source for healthcare acquired infections. The elements of cleaning, transport and storage should be part of an Infection Prevention (IP) consult. The incorporation of linen reprocessing into the IP program ensures compliance with linen standards and patient safety.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Infection Control
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Teal L.
        • Schultz K.
        • Weber D.
        • Gergen M.
        • Miller M.
        • DiBiase L.
        • et al.
        Invasive Cutaneous Rhizopus Infections in an Immunocompromised Patient Population Associated with Hospital Laundry Carts.
        Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2016; 37: 1251-1253
        • Cheng V.
        • Chen J.
        • Wong S.
        • Leung S.
        • So S.
        • Lung D.
        • et al.
        Hospital Outbreak of Pulmonary and Cutaneous Zygomycosis due to Contaminated Linen Items From Substandard Laundry.
        Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2016; 62: 714-721
        • Sasahara T.
        • Hayashi S.
        • Morisawa Y.
        • Sakihama T.
        • Yoshimura A.
        • Hirai Y.
        Bacillus cereus bacteremia outbreak due to contaminated hospital linens.
        European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases. 2011; 30: 219-226
        • Standaert SM.
        • Hutcheson RH.
        • Schaffer W.
        Nosocomial transmission of Salmonella gastroenteritis to laundry workers in a nursing home.
        Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 1994; 15: 22-26
      1. The Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council. Accreditation Standards for Processing Reusable Textiles for Use in Healthcare Facilities. 2016 ed. Available at:

        • Sundermann A.
        • Clancy C.
        • Pasculle A.
        • Liu G.
        • Cheng S.
        • Cumbie R.
        • et al.
        Remediation of Mucorales-contaminated Healthcre Linens at a Laundry Facility Following an Investigation of a Case Cluster of Hospital-acquired Mucorycosis.
        Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2022; 74: 1401-1407
        • Sundermann A.
        • Clancy C.
        • Pasculle A.
        • Liu G.
        • Cumbie R.
        • Driscoll E.
        • et al.
        How Clean is the Linen at My Hospital? The Mucorales on Unclean Linen Discovery Study of Large United States Transplant and Cancer Centers.
        Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2019; 68: 850-853
        • Sands F.
        • Fairbanks L.
        How Clean is "hygienically clean": Quantitative microbial levels from samples of clean health care textiles across the United States.
        American Journal of Infection Control. 2019; 47: 509-514
        • Michael K.
        • No D.
        • Daniell W.
        • Seixas N.
        • Roberts M.
        Assessment of Environmental Contamination with Pathogenic Bacteria at a Hospital Laundry Facility.
        Annals of Work Exposures and Health. 2017; 61: 1087-1097
      2. The Joint Commission. Accreditation Requirements. Available at:, Accessed February 15, 2022.