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Public Health Inspector's (PHI's) Guide

The Public Health Inspector's Guide to Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Testing, 5th Edition is designed to support effective public health practice, ensuring that inspectors have timely information on PHO’s Laboratory environmental microbiology services and expertise.

This latest edition supports Ontario’s 36 local boards of health and public health inspectors in meeting their obligations as outlined in relevant Ontario legislation, standards and protocols. The document outlines the environmental microbiology tests performed at PHO Laboratory (PHOL), provides detailed sample collection and submission instructions, states the laboratory acceptance criteria and advises on test results interpretation.


Environmental Swabs

Food

Legionella Investigations

Water

Environmental swab testing is performed to support foodborne illness outbreaks and investigations. This section provides information for PHIs when submitting environmental swabs to PHOL for testing.

Food sample testing is performed to support foodborne illness outbreaks and investigations, microbial risk assessment (HACCP or routine surveillance) or a complaint investigation.  This section provides information for PHIs when submitting food samples to PHOL for testing.

Legionella spp. testing is performed to support investigations related to confirmed clinical cases of legionellosis.  This section provides information for PHIs when submitting Legionella samples to PHOL for testing.

Water sample testing is performed for the detection of bacterial indicators of contamination; including drinking water and non-potable sources (i.e., sewage, pools, spa, and recreational beaches); and also for investigations linked to clinical illness.  This section provides information for PHIs when submitting water samples to PHOL for testing.

​​Environmental swabs ​Food ​Legionella investigations ​Water

 

Related information

  • Glossary
    A list of terms with corresponding definitions found throughout the guide.
  • References
    Specifically from the Public Health Inspector's Guide.

 

Page last reviewed:
Page last updated: 02/10/2017 9:42 AM
Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 02/10/2017 9:42 AM
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