How to collect stool specimens

Kit contains two sterile containers:
Container NumberColour of CapTransport MediaTest Required
#1 White cap Empty vial Virology
#2 Green cap Red transport medium Bacteriology


  • Check the expiration date on the sterile containers. DO NOT use expired kits
  • If blood or mucus is present in the stool, take the sample from this part of the stool
  • Stool specimens that have been in contact with water in the toilet are unacceptable 

Collection Procedure:

  • Complete laboratory submission form and label the containers prior to collecting the specimens
  • Adults and toilet trained children should defecate into a clean container (i.e. a disposable plate or nun's cap). In the event of incontinence or for children who are not toilet trained, collect stool sample (feces) from the soiled diaper/incontinence brief or directly from the child's training "potty"
  • Using the individual "scoop" attached to each of the caps, transfer stool into the corresponding sterile container  fill the white cap vial first
  • Tighten the caps. Do not use excessive force to tighten the caps as the containers may crack and leak in transit
  • Place the containers in the inner pocket of the plastic biohazard bag
  • Place the General Test Requisition form in the small outer pocket of the plastic biohazard bag. DO NOT place the form in the inner pocket      
  • Place the biohazard bag into the brown paper bag, provided and refrigerate the sample(s)
  • Perform hand hygiene. If hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water.
  • Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744, ext. 26325 for stool sample pick-up and delivery to the Public Health Laboratory located in Ottawa.
  • DO NOT submit the specimen to the lab without contacting Ottawa Public Health


Label each container with the client's name, Date of Birth and date the stool sample was collected

Samples that are incorrectly filled out, or packaged improperly will be discarded by Public Health Lab

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