Food, Water and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Porton: services

The laboratory provides diagnostic microbiological testing services for the examination of food, water and environmental samples.

Porton food, water and environmental laboratory provides public, health focused testing in line with regulation and guidance for a range of stakeholders including:

  • local authorities
  • port health authorities
  • NHS
  • commercial companies

The laboratory serves the south and west of England across the counties of:

  • Berkshire
  • Cornwall
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • East and West Sussex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight
  • Herefordshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Somerset
  • Surrey
  • Wiltshire
  • Worcestershire

Services available

The laboratory provides a range of services which include:

  • general hygiene screens for food samples and surface swabs
  • detection and identification of pathogens such as salmonella, listeria, campylobacter, vibrio, Escherichia coli O157 and other STEC by conventional techniques and PCR
  • spoilage organisms such as yeasts and moulds
  • shelf-life tests for foods
  • dairy product testing including determination of phosphatase
  • shellfish classification and end-product testing
  • swimming and spa pool water quality
  • potable and surface or recreational water quality
  • Legionella and Pseudomonas in water supplies
  • endoscopy rinse water and renal dialysis water (including endotoxin testing)
  • support for investigation of outbreaks
  • air testing for clean rooms and theatres
  • sampling (ships, hospitals, food businesses) for routine and outbreak
  • pathogen testing of non-foods for outbreak investigations (for example, soil and sand)
  • advice on how to take samples, what samples to take, which tests are required and how to interpret results



Food, Water and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Porton

Porton Down


Telephone 01980 616 766

Updates to this page

Published 31 July 2014
Last updated 20 April 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated locations served by the lab and list of services.

  2. First published.

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