Consumer complaint samples from the general public are not accepted. Consumers are advised to take the product to the manufacturer or store where it was purchased. Illness resulting from food consumption should be reported to your local county health department. Suspected food tampering cases should be reported to your local law enforcement agency.

Food samples are accepted for testing under the following scenarios:

  1. Food borne disease outbreak investigation - Criteria:
  • Investigation is coordinated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service’s Section for Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology (DCEE).
  • Samples are collected and submitted by an official of the local public health agency or state district health office. Sample collection and submission must be coordinated through the District's Epidemiology Specialist.
  • Samples should be non-compromised, unopened containers that are properly transported and submitted with complete documentation.
  • Clinical samples from the affected consumers should be available for testing.
  1. In support of a surveillance or enforcement action resulting from a sanitary inspection performed by a local or state public health official.
  • Samples are collected and submitted by an official of the local public health agency or state district health office.
  • Samples should be non-compromised, unopened containers that are properly transported and submitted with complete documentation.
  1. In support of state or federal food safety surveillance programs.
  • Surveillance programs administered by state or federal agencies.
  • Samples are collected and submitted by an official of the local, state or federal public health agency.
  1. In upport of federal or state investigations of suspected terrorism events.
  • Federal or state law enforcement agency declares event is a possible act of terrorism.
  • Samples are collected and submitted by federal or state law enforcement officials, or their designee.

Contact the MSPHL Environmental Bacteriology Unit at 573-751-3334 for food sampling kits.

A completed food sample information form must accompany each sample submitted.
Food Test Request Form
Chain of Custody Form

Additional information regarding the proper collection and submission of food samples may be found in the DHSS Communicable Disease Investigation Reference Manual, Section 30.0, Outbreak Investigation, Acute Gastroenteritis.
Foodborne Disease Handbook
Foodborne Outbreak Flowchart

Tests Available and Methods:

  • Ricin Toxin EIA
  • Abrin Toxin EIA
  • Staphylococcus Enterotoxin EIA
  • Aerobic Plate Count (bacteria) - Pour Plate
  • Total Coliform Bacteria - Multiple Tube Fermentation (MTF) Most Probable Number (MPN)
  • Fecal Coliform Bacteria - Multiple Tube Fermentation (MTF) Most Probable Number (MPN)
  • Fecal Streptococcus (Enterococcus) - Pour Plate
  • Yeast And Mold Plate Count - Pour Plate
  • Coagulase Positive Staphylococcus Count - Spread Plate
  • Staphylococcus aureus PCR
  • Salmonella Isolation, Speciation and PCR
  • Shigella Isolation and Speciation
  • E. Coli O157:H7 Isolation, latex agglutination and PCR
  • Listeria Isolation, Speciation and PCR
  • Campylobacter Isolation, Speciation and PCR
  • Clostridium perfringens Isolation
  • Bacillus cereus Plate Count - Spread Plate
  • Vibrio Isolation and Speciation
  • Yersinia Isolation and Speciation
  • Bioterrorism agent PCR, Isolation and Speciation
  • Botulinum toxin EIA