Foodborne bacteria - analysis

A person observing a petri dish in a laboratory

The Swedish Food Agency performs analyses of pathogenic bacteria in food and water. Most of the microbiological analyses of food and water are performed to ensure the application of food laws in Sweden and are largely performed by commercial or municipal laboratories.

Common causes of food poisoning and other food contamination are pathogenic E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella and listeria. Different bacteria can be spread through different kinds of foods. Salmonella and campylobacter, for example, are strongly associated with the handling of raw and/or incompletely cooked chicken.

Outbreak analysis

In the event of an outbreak, the analysis of relevant food items is an important element of infection tracing. The Swedish Food Agency is available to support the competent authorities on issues such as: sampling, choice of appropriate analyses and analytical methods, evaluating results, cleaning and sanitation or with operational advice when dealing with an outbreak. The Swedish Food Agency also offers support in the form of analyses in the event of major or unusual outbreaks, when other laboratories lack the necessary methods.

To request support, please call our outbreak hotline on +46 73 354 53 23 on weekdays between 08:00 and 16:00 or the Swedish Food Agency on-call officer on +46 77 180 09 00 outside office hours. These calls go directly to the emergency operator at SOS Alarm, who will contact the on-call officer.

Laboratory services

Reviewed 2023-09-22