Yes. CDPH and public
health department submitters should discuss their testing needs
with Foodborne & Waterborne Diseases Section management to determine whether
service can be offered. A 1 week or more advance lab consultation is requested
prior to sample collection, if possible. Samples received without prior
authorization will not be tested until such authorization is
These tests are
conducted to assist public health decision-making, epidemiological trace-back,
regulatory actions, for reference purposes, and to support the Food Emergency
Supplemental Information or Form
If samples are taken
to support a regulatory function, then investigators should submit controls for
each container type; these typically represent empty, sterile collection
containers identical to those used in sampling during the site-visit.
List the controls as part of the sample submission list.
Examples of various
1. Sterile Containers -
Where sterile containers are used to collect aseptic samples, submit one
unopened container, which was sterilized in the same manner as containers used
2. Sterile Disposable
Gloves - If sterile disposable gloves are used to handle the product, submit one
unopened pair of gloves as a control
3. Sterile Sampling
Equipment -Where pre-sterilized sampling tools are used (e.g., spoons, spatulas,
etc.), submit at least one unopened sampling tool as a control
4. Temperature Control
- A temperature control sample, labeled TC, should be collected and included in
each box of samples to verify the holding temperature.
Alternatively, a temperature recording device may be included in each
1. Form "809 Request for Laboratory Services - Food Exam" and/or
2. A detailed list and
description of items collected by the investigation team, i.e.. Environmental
Health, Food and Drug, etc
3. The submittal
form(s) should be completed and secured in a water-tight bag and placed outside
the secondary containment barrier but within the shipper box.
Performed on Specimens From
foodborne outbreak; trace-back surveillance; food emergency response network
Acceptable Sample/Specimen Type for Testing
food and/or food preparation environment. See the “Supplemental Information”
section for additional controls that may be collected and submitted as part of
Minimum Volume Required
than 25 g of each food item in the original container or a subsample transferred
to a sterile container using sterile instruments. Please consult with Foodborne
& Waterborne Diseases Section on non-food items, such as swab submission
from cutting blades, grinders, drains, etc.
Storage & Preservation of Sample/Specimen Prior to Shipping
not refreeze a thawed sample. If frozen at the time of collection, keep frozen
during storage. Refrigerated items should be kept at 4-10°C during storage.
Shelf-stable items may remain at room temperature during storage; if uncertain,
store these at 4-10°C.
and room temperature samples should be transported at 4-10°C with cold packs and
frozen samples should be transported with a dry ice coolant. Label or mark the
outside box with the storage temperature.
identification number that matches to a sample submittal form
2. Type of
3. Date and time
Shipping Instructions which Include Specimen Handling Requirements
packaging and shipping regulations for biological samples. Please label the
outermost container(s) to clearly indicate the storage temperature. Ship
CA Department of
Specimen Receiving –
MDL – Foodborne & Waterborne Diseases Section - food
850 Marina Bay
MDL Points of Contact
MDL - Foodborne & Waterborne Diseases Section (510) 412-3796, Monday-Friday 8 AM to 5 PM PT