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Salmonella - Food
Specimen Type:

​Food – indicate if part of a meal, control or follow up.


Submit 200 grams of food in a sterile plastic sample bag with round wire closure. ​

Collection information:

​To order Food Bacteriology Requisition (Cat# L-3180) or other PHOL supplies complete the Requisition for Containers and Supplies. The form should be faxed to Public Health Ontario Laboratory, Toronto at 416-235-5753 or your local PHOL.

Minimum volume required:

​25 grams


​Complete all fields of the Food Bacteriology Requisition.



Preparation prior to transport:


Special Instructions:

​For sampling, follow the instructions found in Public Health Inspector’s Guide to Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Testing.


Shipping Instructions:

  • Ship all foods in containers with hard walls and lids secured in the closed position.
  • Shipping containers must be labelled with the submitting organization, unique identifier and contents e.g. FOOD SAMPLES on the outside of the container.
  • DO NOT SHIP WITH CLINICAL SPECIMENS.  Shipping containers used for food samples should be dedicated to food samples and not be used for other types of environmental samples.
  • Ship dry foods and other shelf stable foods in a closed container at ambient temperature.
  • Ship frozen foods in an insulated container with sufficient ice packs to maintain the frozen state.
  • Ship perishable foods in an insulated container with sufficient cold packs to maintain a temperature as close to 4°C as possible. If ice is used, contain the ice in a manner that does not allow water contact with the samples.
  • Submit all food samples to the laboratory as soon as possible

​The presence of Salmonella spp. in food is screened by real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).  All RT- PCR positive samples will be confirmed by culture techniques including nonselective pre-enrichment, selective enrichment followed by isolation on selective agar plates, biochemical and serological identification.

Salmonella spp. should be absent from ready-to-eat foods.


For more information, please refer to:

For outbreaks, contact your local Health Unit, your local Public Health Laboratory or the Public Health Ontario, Public Health Laboratory Customer Service Centre at 416-235-6556 or 1-877-604-4567.


The Salmonella test is performed Monday to Saturday.

RT-PCR TAT is 2 days
Culture TAT is up to 7 days.​


Results are reported as indicated on the requisition to the submitting health unit, when all analyses are completed.

Food specimens that show the presence of bacteria capable of causing food-borne illness are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per the Health Protection and Promotion Act.​

Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 28/09/2017 11:07 AM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion