Just the Facts: Collecting a Stool Specimen

  • Obtain a stool collection kit and ensure it is current. Check the expiration date. Vials should be filled in order, by colour:   
    WHITE: virology   
    GREEN: bacteriology
    Photo of Stool sample collection containers
  • Void feces into a dry container or onto paper that can later be flushed down the toilet. Feces that have been voided into the toilet cannot be used.
  • Use the spoon from the white vial (attached to the lid). Take about three scoops from different areas of the feces. Areas that have blood or mucous should be sampled. Ensure there are enough feces in the vial to reach the fill line.
  • Place the spoon back into the bottle. Tighten the cap well.
  • Next, take samples for the green cap vial. Collect enough feces to raise the fluid level in the vial to the fill line. Place the spoon back in the bottle and mix the feces with the liquid. Tighten the cap well.
  • Ensure all lids are tightly closed!
  • Long-Term Care Homes should attach resident label to each vial. Make sure that each specimen has 2 resident identifiers.
  • Place vials in the Bio Bag provided and seal (remove the blue strip).
  • Fill out the Public Health Lab Requisition and place in outside pouch. See the “Filling Out the Public Health Lab Requisition” page.
  • Fill out the black and white labels on the reverse of the pouch. Fill out patient’s name, health number, date specimen collected, date of onset, and tick off appropriate boxes. Include outbreak number if available.
  • Store in the refrigerator.
  • Contact the Health Trans Carrier at 519-791-0515 to transport to the Public Health Lab in London, ON in the approved packaging as soon as possible within 48 hours of collection. Examples of approved packaging: a soft-sided cooler bag, or a box that is sealed and labelled, SPECIMENS.
Related Content