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Department of Health Services

Public Health Regional Laboratory

Vibrio parahaemolyticus Testing for Oysters


Submission guidelines for oyster samples for Vibrio parahaemolyticus testing.


Submit 16-20 live, intact, clean oysters per sampling location.

  • The outside of the shells should be clean - in ready-to-sell condition.
  • Care must be taken to avoid damaging the shell and cross-contaminating samples.
  • Each sample must be submitted in a clean, sealed plastic bag to prevent contamination and/or co-mingling of different samples.


Label each sample with the following information:

  • lease number
  • specific location within the lease
  • depuration tank
  • date and time of sample collection
  • date and time of harvest (if appropriate)
  • ambient temperature of the water at the exact location where the oysters were collected
  • name of person who collected samples

Storage/Temperature Guidelines

  • Samples must be cooled immediately after collection by placing samples into a clean ice chest with enough blue ice to chill and hold samples at 4° to 10° C.
  • Direct contact with wet ice should be avoided.
  • Maintain samples at 2° to 10° C during storage and transport. Use of cool packs is recommended - do not use wet ice.
  • Oysters must be received at the lab within 22 hours of harvest. Samples must be received at lab by 3:00 p.m. to ensure same day testing.

Sample Submission

Make pre-arrangements for testing with laboratory: (707) 565-4711

Samples accepted: Monday - Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.*

* Exceptions may apply on and/or around observed holidays - call for details.

Delivery Address

Sonoma County Public Health Laboratory
3313 Chanate Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Pricing and Results

Cost: $148/set

Results typically available the following day by 4:00 p.m. or earlier.

Reference: 2013 Vibriparahaemolyticus Control Plan for Oysters in Commercial Shellfish Growing Areas of California, California Department of Public Health.