Microbiology Testing

Microbiology Testing

Hill Labs offers a large range of accredited microbiology testing for different sample types, ranging from raw material to finished product, as well as environmental monitoring by swab. We have invested in the latest technologies to provide robust and sensitive testing to help clients ensure that their products and facilities are pathogen-free and comply with food safety requirements. Our methods are MPI and IANZ accredited, meaning local market providers, importers and exporters are able to use our results to meet their regulatory requirements. Our friendly Client Service Managers are just a phone call away and happy to help you understand your sampling and analysis needs.

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Pathogen Testing

Hill Labs has an extensive array of pathogen-related tests that are performed using either traditional culture, or molecular based detection. Our turnaround times are industry-leading and can be used with product or environmental swabs alike. Some of our routinely analysed pathogens are listed below:

  • Listeria species (by PCR)
  • Listeria monocytogenes (by PCR)
  • Salmonella (by PCR)
  • Aerobic plate count (APCs)
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Total coliforms
  • Faecal coliforms
  • E. coli
  • STEC E. coli ((including O157) by PCR)
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Camplyobacter

Challenge Testing

Microbiological challenge testing has been and continues to be, a useful tool for determining the ability of a food to support the growth of spoilage organisms or pathogens. Microbiological challenge tests also play an important role in the validation of processes that are intended to deliver some degree of lethality against a target organism or group of target organisms. Quite often, with this latter purpose, there is an associated performance standard that the process must deliver (for example, a 5 log reduction)

Microbiological challenge studies are also useful in determining the potential shelf life of certain refrigerated or ambient-stored foods. The determination of whether challenge studies are appropriate or useful must be made by considering such factors as the likelihood of the product to support growth of spoilage organisms or pathogens, or a knowledge of the previous history of the product.

Shelf Life Testing

Ensuring that shelf life claims are accurate, is a critical component to the manufacture of products that are prone to spoilage. To make this process fast and convenient Hill Labs offers a dedicated Shelf Life Test. Simply submit your sample with the appropriate details on our specially designed sample request form and we will take care of the rest.

Sampler Training

Ensuring a sample is collected correctly is critically important to the accuracy and relevance of your results. Inappropriate sampling methodology and sample treatment can result in erroneous results and cause lost time, or worse create significant risk within your food safety programme. Hill Labs offers dedicated sampler training (Christchurch only) in order to give clients confidence that they are taking water and environmental samples correctly. 

Helpful links

Our team of testing experts has meticulously crafted these documents to offer recommendations tailored to your testing requirements.

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What our customers have to say

"We've always found them to be responsive in getting results back and giving advice on problems we might be facing."

Andrew Hutchinson, Technical Manager, Turners & Growers

"We strongly recommend Hill Labs as a sound testing service provider to the honey industry."

Nick Walker, Technical Manager, Egmont Honey

"Their sample registration system has made things simple and seamless - collect, scan and send!"

Mathew Bannister, Compliance Manager, First Fresh New Zealand


As a New Zealand accredited laboratory by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ), Hill Labs' commitment to quality is tantamount to our overall operating philosophy. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work.