Note: Walk-in samples are accepted at our Somerton lab on Tuesdays and Fridays. Postal and courier samples are received throughout the week.


Food Contamination Testing in Melbourne, Victoria

Food contamination occurs when unwanted substances enter food, leading to health issues ranging from minor illnesses to severe consequences. These contaminants may originate from nature or human activities. Contamination can happen during various production stages, from growth and harvesting to processing, storage, shipping, and preparation.

Food safety is a paramount concern, with various types of contamination posing risks. Physical contamination involves foreign objects entering food, while cross-contamination occurs when harmful substances transfer from one source to another. Chemical contamination arises from additives or pollutants, and biological contamination involves microorganisms like Salmonella and E. coli. Ensuring stringent measures against this contamination is crucial to safeguarding public health and well-being.

We offer comprehensive food testing services across Melbourne, Victoria. Schedule your initial test by contacting us at +61 (3) 9115 8105 or emailing Your safety is our priority.

Physical Contamination

When foreign objects infiltrate food, it’s termed “physical contamination.” These items are visible in the food and can occur at any point before it reaches the plate. Examples include hair, glass, metal, pests, band-aids, steel, wool, and plastic fragments. Physical contamination can be harmful if consumed and might carry accompanying biological contamination.


Cross Contamination of Food

Cross contamination” is the inadvertent transfer of contaminants from one surface, object, or person to another.

Causes of Cross Contamination:

Cross-contamination typically results from improper handling practices. While it’s often associated with biological contamination, instances of physical or chemical contamination might occur as well.

Common Cross Contamination Sources:

Typical sources include clothing, utensils, personal hygiene, pets, and improper food storage. Recognising and addressing these sources is crucial for food safety.

Chemical Contamination of Food

Food labels “chemical contamination” when it contains natural or artificial chemical substances. In some cases, you might detect the aroma or taste of chemicals in food.

Varieties of Chemical Contamination:

Chemical contamination encompasses various forms:

  • Growth-related: Arises from growth pesticides, fertilizers, and veterinary drugs.
  • Environmental Sources: Involves contamination from water, soil, and air pollution.
  • During Processing: Can occur through cross-contamination during food processing.
  • From Packing Materials: Migration from food packaging materials can also lead to chemical contamination.

Biological Contamination

When organisms or their byproducts infiltrate food, it’s termed “biological contamination.” These microbes are invisible, odourless, and tasteless.

Key Biological Contamination Sources:

Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are prime sources of biological contamination, leading to food-borne illnesses like salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and norovirus.

Diverse Contaminators:

Biological contamination can arise from various quarters, including the environment (contaminated water, air, and plants), people, and animals (manure, animal habitats, and carcasses). Awareness and preventive measures are essential for food safety.

Salmonella and E. coli

Salmonella’s Impact:
Salmonella, a diverse bacterial group with over 2,500 strains, sparks food poisoning in both humans and animals.

Spreading Mechanism:
Salmonella spreads through the consumption of contaminated foods like raw eggs, meat, and produce. Proper cooking is crucial, as these foods can come into contact with animal or human faeces, leading to contamination.

Symptoms and severity:
Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning encompass diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, cramps, and headaches. Infants and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to severe cases.

E. coli’s intricacies:
Not all E. coli strains are harmful. However, specific strains can trigger food poisoning, causing severe issues. Some strains are even contagious.

Transmission Routes:
Improperly processed or harvested foods and tainted water containing E. coli-contaminated faeces can lead to infections.

Symptoms and Urgency:
Typical E. coli symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting, and bloody stools. Swift treatment and potential hospital care might be necessary to counter its effects.


Food Contamination Testing FAQ

What is food contamination testing?

Food contamination testing is the process of analysing food products to detect the presence of harmful substances, pathogens, or contaminants. Hence, the food is unsafe for consumption.

How much does a food contamination test cost?

We offer highly competitive pricing for food contamination testing services, starting at $25 (excl. GST). To get an accurate cost estimate for your specific testing needs, please visit this link or contact us directly.

What is the procedure for sending my sample for testing?

You have two convenient options for sending your food samples to us. You can securely courier your sample to our facility at Unit 8/144 Hume Hwy, Somerton, Victoria, 3062. Alternatively, if you prefer dropping off your sample in person, we accept walk-in samples at the same address every Tuesday and Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m..

How do I start the food contamination testing process?

To start the food contamination testing process, reach out to us with a description of the testing service you require. Following your enquiry, we will get back to you with a quotation. Once you are happy with our pricing, please courier your food samples to our address or drop them off. Our expert team will conduct the necessary tests and provide you with detailed results.

How soon can I expect to receive my test results?

Our commitment to prompt service means that we typically process and deliver results within 5-7 working days (Monday to Friday). In the event that a retest is necessary, please allow an additional 2 days for result processing. Your satisfaction and accurate data are our top priorities.

Guarantee Safety with Our Testing Services

Ensure that your food is contaminant free with our trusted testing. Fill out the form below to receive a free quote!