If you’ve gotten sick and you’re not sure why, we can test food for E. coli, coliform, listeria, and salmonella with one test. Your results are available within 8-10 business days for only $199.
If you want to test for a specific bacteria, we can do that too. Single tests for specific bacteria are available here. Don’t see what you need? Call us-we can test for just about anything.
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We can now test for yeast, mold, Staph, and Campylobacter. Send a 2 ounce food sample and we’ll test it for you. Results are normally available in 7-10 days. Call 800-908-9117 for pricing.
Immediately isolate the food you think may be contaminated from your other food. Place it in a clean leak-proof plastic container. If it’s a perishable item, place it in the freezer or refrigerator. For non-perishable items (dry goods) no refrigeration is necessary. When you are ready to send us your perishable item, ship it to us overnight with an ice pack. Do not ship any samples on a Friday to avoid the item deteriorating over the weekend. Non perishable items can be sent without ice packs and by regular shipping methods.
Escherichia coli, most commonly called E. coli, is a bacteria that is present in the digestive tract of all animals and humans. When we don’t properly cook meat, or don’t wash our hands after using the bathroom the bacteria can be spread to our foods. E. coli is also present in lakes and streams and people can be sickened by drinking untreated water or swallowing the water when swimming. Just a swallow of pool water can contaminated with E. coli can make you sick. It is also easily transferred from person to person. The symptoms are vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and cramps and usually develop within 3 to 4 days of exposure to the bacteria and normally last about a week. Serious complications can be dehydration, kidney and blood issues. In extreme cases, blood transfusions or dialysis have been necessary. Children are more at risk for serious complications than adults. If you think you have a food sample contaminated with E. coli, we can test it for you.
Listeria is a bacteria that is spread through improperly handled food. Food that comes into contact with surfaces that haven’t been properly cleaned and sanitized can pick up the bacteria. Food that has not been fully cooked and unpasteurized dairy products can also transmit the bacteria. Outbreaks in the past have been from hot dogs, deli meats, poultry, ice cream and cantaloupe. Bagged salad and frozen vegetables were recently the source of an outbreak that killed several people. A listeria infection, called listeriosis, has symptoms that are generally mild, and include upset stomach, fever, and muscle aches. But occasionally the bacteria can spread from the intestines into the blood stream and become much more serious, causing septicemia and meningitis. Pregnant women are at a heightened risk as the disease can spread to the unborn baby. People with low immune systems, alcoholics, diabetics, and cancer patients are at the greatest risk for the disease becoming more severe. If you think you’ve got food contaminated with Listeria, send it to us.
Salmonella is usually caused by eating undercooked meat, poultry and eggs. The salmonella bacteria are present in the intestines of all humans, animals and birds, and on the skin of reptiles. Most foods become contaminated when the people preparing the food don’t wash their hands properly after using the bathroom or handling a pet. Recent outbreaks have included cucumbers, pistachios, and adult gummy vitamins. Symptoms can appear within several hours to several days from coming into contact with the bacteria. They usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, muscle aches and blood in the stool. The symptoms generally last from four days to a week. It is not unusual, however, for it to take several months for the bowels to return to normal function after contracting salmonella. People most at risk for serious complications from salmonella are the elderly, the very young, those with lowered immune systems, pregnant women and infants. If you think you have a food sample contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, we can test it for you.
Coliform are a wide group of bacteria that are found in soil, water, and on vegetation, but are most commonly found in water. Coliform can enter the water supply from animal feces getting into wells or moving through the soil to contaminate groundwater from heavy rain or flooding. Faulty septic systems and sewage discharge can also contaminate water sources. Coliform bacteria are sometimes referred to as “indicator” bacteria, as their presence can indicate the presence of other, dangerous bacteria. Symptoms of coliform exposure are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for more severe complications. In extreme cases the bacteria can infect the lungs, kidneys, and eyes. Send us your food sample and we’ll test it for only
Campylobacter bacteria are one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness according to the CDC. It is estimated they sicken 1.3 million people every year. Most people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely within two to five days, although sometimes recovery can take up to 10 days. Rarely, Campylobacter infection results in long-term consequences. Some people develop arthritis. Others may develop a rare disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome that affects the nerves of the body beginning several weeks after the diarrheal illness. This occurs when a person’s immune system is “triggered” to attack the body’s own nerves resulting in paralysis. The paralysis usually lasts several weeks and requires intensive medical care. It is estimated that approximately one in every 1,000 reported Campylobacter illnesses leads to Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Preventing sickness from these dangerous bacteria can be as simple as thoroughly washing your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets. Properly cleaning and sanitizing your kitchen counters, food prep areas, and utensils is extremely important. Cooking food thoroughly and not allowing uncooked meats to come into contact with cooked or raw foods is also terribly important.
If you think you have become sick from eating contaminated food, contact us. We have several testing options available that can determine what may have made you sick.