Submitting Samples

Meeting your needs is a priority at the Agriculture and Food Laboratory (AFL). Client Service is your key to unlocking the potential of our regulatory and analytical testing services. If you are a new client or this is a new project with us, please contact us. We will ensure that your project receives the most efficient and cost-effective process available for your project size and testing volumes. Our sample reception hours are Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.

Learn more below about our sample submission procedure or contact us for further information:

Sampling and Shipping Guidelines

The following information provides guidelines for submitting samples:

  • When collecting a sample, ensure that it is appropriate for the analysis and the answer you need.
  • Ensure sample size and containers are appropriate.
  • Clearly label samples with indelible ink.
  • Enclose samples individually in leak-proof containers that are able to withstand shipping. To prevent breakage, extra packaging should be used when shipping glass containers.
  • Complete the appropriate sample submission form and enclose with samples. Submission forms will be sent with quotations.
  • For moist samples, enclose the sample submission form in a separate plastic bag. Provide any critical information about sample history, expected ranges, use of results, or handling hazards on submission form. Clearly state the analysis requested.
  • Samples can be sent to the laboratory by mail or courier, or they can be hand-delivered between 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Be aware that certain samples require refrigeration, freezing or extra packaging to maintain sample integrity or control offensive odours.  Ship these samples such that these conditions are maintained until they are received by the laboratory.
  • Do not ship perishable samples to arrive at the laboratory on holidays or weekends.
  • For specific Canada Post and courier regulations, please refer to their websites.

Please contact us for any questions you may have on sampling and/or shipping your sample(s).

The laboratory reserves the right not to process samples which pose a health risk to laboratory personnel or are leaking, damaged or spoiled and are no longer suitable for analysis.

Step-by-Step Guide For Sample Submission

To ensure that submitting samples is an efficient process for our clients, we created a step-by-step guide (shown below) on sample submission:

Step 1: Collect and Prepare the Sample

Please use the following sampling and shipping guidelines to prepare your sample for submission. If you are unsure of anything please contact us for further instructions.

Water Microbiology Analysis:

The following information provides guidelines for the collection and submission of agricultural and processing waters for microbiology testing:

PLEASE NOTE: for Small Drinking Water Systems (SDWS), please contact us for appropriate testing and submission information.

Step 2: Fill Out the Appropriate Submission Forms

Please print out and use the appropriate form dependent on test type. If you are unsure what form to use, please contact us.

General Sample Submission Form:

This submission form is used in conjunction with submitting samples to Laboratory Services excluding plant disease diagnoses (general,greenhouse, crop forms) and regulatory water microbiology testing for Small Drinking Water Systems.

Foreign Material Submission Form:

Plant Disease Clinic Submission Forms:

These submission forms cover services pertaining to plant disease diagnoses, insect and plant identifications and nematode counts:

Step 3: Send Sample Along with Paperwork

Samples can be dropped off at Sample Reception (directions), at the rear of 95 Stone Road West, Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. Alternatively, samples can be sent by courier.

  • Be aware that certain samples require refrigeration, freezing or extra packaging to maintain sample integrity or control offensive odours. Ship these samples such that these conditions are maintained until they are received by the laboratory.
  • Do not ship perishable samples to arrive at the laboratory on holidays or weekends.
  • For specific Canada Post and courier regulations, please refer to their specific websites.

Sample Reception Address

  • Sample Reception (rear of building)
    Laboratory Services Division
    University of Guelph
    95 Stone Road West
    Guelph, Ontario  N1G 2Z4
    CANADA

Please make sure that the appropriate paperwork accompanies all samples and samples are clearly labelled. Samples missing labels and/or paperwork will not be accepted.

Note: The laboratory reserves the right to not process samples which pose a health risk to laboratory personnel or are leaking, damaged or spoiled and are no longer suitable for analysis.