Brief Description

Poisons in food and beverages.

Laboratory Unit



Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

Specimen Collection

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.

Food samples must have at least 25 grams of food material collected in a suitable container for the Poisons in Food/Beverages Screen.

Beverage samples must have at least 50 milliliters of beverage collected in a suitable container for the Poisons in Food/Beverages Screen.

Shipping and collection procedures and forms are available by contacting us.


Shipping and collection procedures are available by contacting the MSPHL.

Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

Any food sample.

Test Request Form(s)

Contact the MSPHL.

Possible Results

Chemicals which are amenable to analysis by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry.  Results are qualitative.

Unacceptable Conditions

Insufficient quantity.

Interfering Substances


Result Reported

5 working days after receipt of sample.



CPT Codes




Additional Information

Food Emergency Response - MSPHL is partnering with the USDA and FDA Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) to develop capacity to respond to a public health emergency in a chemical or radiological event. This capacity will augment the MSPHL with the ability to analyze food/beverage samples for the presence of various chemical and radiological contaminants.

Food Surveillance - In an effort to monitor food/beverage products for possible chemical contaminants, the MSPHL is conducting a food surveillance program in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture. This program was established to routinely analyze food/beverage products for potential toxic chemicals that could affect the public health of Missourians.