East Devon District Council

Cookies information

eastdevon.gov.uk uses cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about the cookies we use.

Guide Infectious disease and food poisoning

Show all parts of this guide

3. Providing a faecal sample to show food poisoning

Samples are needed to identify the illness correctly and check whether it is still present. You can feel better but still have the germs which can be passed onto others.

You will be given a plastic pot with a spatula inside.

  • The spatula should be used to scrape up some of the solid matter when you go to the toilet (This is best achieved by placing a potty or similar item in the toilet - disinfect the potty carefully after use)
  • A small amount will be enough, so please do not fill the pot
  • The spatula and solid matter should be put into the pot and the lid screwed down firmly
  • Write your name on the side of the pot
  • Place the pot into the plastic bag
  • Fill in the details of your name, date of birth, your doctors name, the date when you started to feel ill, and any other information you can on the form that comes with the pot and put it in the pouch of the plastic bag

Take the pot to your doctors surgery. Most surgeries have a collection by the laboratory service in the morning. If you cannot deliver the pot to the doctors, you can phone us and we will try to deliver the pot to the laboratory for you. 

Please do not supply any urine , vomit or water.

Results will normally be available within five working days.

If your symptoms persist or you get worse, please see your Doctor.