Collecting a faecal sample

Details of how to collect faecal samples to minimise contamination and spread of disease.

Step 1

Use one of the following methods to collect some of your faeces for testing at a laboratory

  • hold a clean disposable plastic container underneath
  • hold a clean plastic bag underneath
  • stretch clean clingwrap across the toilet so it sags in the middle

If possible, keep the sample free from urine.

A person sitting on the toilet demonstrating the three methods you can use to collect a faecal sample

Step 2

Use the scoop inside the lid of the container or a clean disposable spatula to transfer a small sample (about the size of a cherry) of faeces to the container.

If blood or mucus are present in the faeces, include some in the sample.

Screw the lid and wash your hands.

Dispose of the materials you used to collect it by wrapping in newspaper and putting in the rubbish immediately.


Step 3

Write on the label:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • the date and time you collected the sample.

Keep the sample in a cool place.

Step 4

Deliver the sample as soon as possible to the doctor, laboratory or collection centre. If the sample cannot be delivered immediately, it should be refrigerated.