Dead woman lying on the floor under white cloth with blank tag on feet

Tips for cleaning hotel rooms usually highlight areas such as high-touch spots in guest rooms and soft surfaces. But housekeeping crews are facing some unexpected sanitation challenges as hospitality giants from Disney to Hilton and Hyatt have begun hosting “cadaver labs” on their premises.

Reuters recently identified at least 90 cadaver labs that have taken place since 2012 at hotels or their convention centers in dozens of cities, from New York to San Diego.

There is little, if any, government regulations on where seminars featuring cadavers can be held, although there are rules on how labs handle medical waste and pathogens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for instance, has no guidelines for seminars involving human body parts.

Labs at universities have floors that can easily be cleaned to minimize the spread of bodily fluids and tissues. However, most hotel ballrooms or conference centers are carpeted and lack sinks and other washing facilities. That means the biosafety protocols at hotels sometimes fall well short of what university researchers require in their labs, according to the article.

To guard against fluid or flesh falling on hotel carpets, seminar organizers typically lay plastic on the floors.

“When they cut away the knee, there are bone pieces flying. So you cover up the walls,” James McElroy, president of Bioskills Solutions, which provides equipment and support for training on cadavers, said in the article.

For instance, at a conference at a Hyatt in Jersey City, New Jersey, plastic and other floor covering lay only in the areas just beneath the gurneys that held body parts.

The New York State Health require rooms where cadavers and body parts are used for education or research to have biosafety features, such as a working sink. However, a department spokesperson said it has never inspected any hotels that have held cadaver labs.

To learn more, read the full article here.