The Foodborne Disease Surveillance Laboratories, within the MA DPH State Laboratory, performs testing for identification and control of foodborne disease outbreaks. Testing activities include:

Culture and Identification of Enteric Pathogens from Human Clinical Specimens

To submit a human clinical specimen for testing in the context of foodborne disease outbreaks and investigations, request a State Lab Enteric Kit at (617) 983-6640. Go to the Specimen submission forms page, to download and print form SS-SLI-1-08.

Identification, Confirmation, and Subtyping of Enteric Pathogens

The Foodborne Disease Surveillance Laboratories performs molecular typing (PFGE) and conventional serotyping of isolates of enteric pathogens for disease surveillance purposes. For details on the MA DPH State Laboratory foodborne illness capabilities please view the Manual of Lab Tests and Services.

Testing of Food and Environmental Specimens

Food sample submissions must be approved by the Food Protection Program (617) 983-6712. Food specimens must be submitted with a Food Sample Submission Form. Food specimens may be tested for enteric pathogens such as Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli O157H7, Listeria, or for foodborne toxins such as paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin and botulism toxin.

To report suspected foodborne disease, call (617) 983-6712 or (617) 983-6800.


This information is provided by the Bureau of Laboratory Sciences within the Department of Public Health.