NATA Accredited Multiplex rtPCR Detection Method

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

In response to the recent events surrounding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) outbreak, Symbio Laboratories would like to provide you with some reassurance around the steps we are undertaking to ensure the safety of our people and the continuity of our services through this challenging time.

We currently have the following restrictions in place:

  • Domestic and international travel has been restricted for Symbio employees;
  • Self-isolation of employees returning from overseas is supported and “work from home arrangements” are being utilised as needed;
  • Except where essential, virtual meetings are being held instead of face-to-face;
  • Access to Symbio Sites has been considerably reduced for visitors, suppliers and contractors, and Site Access Declarations are required prior to entry.

In the interest of prevention, we have also:

  • Installed additional antisceptic stations in Symbio lunchrooms/amenities, with more frequent and rigorous cleaning protocols in place;
  • Supplied all employees with personal hand sanitisers.

To ensure that all employees are supplied with the most up to date information on COVID-19:

  • Awareness and training sessions have been held on COVID-19 and basic protective measures, including heightened personal hygiene and social distancing;
  • Regular updates are obtained from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Australian Government and their suggestions are being applied and distributed to employees where relevant.

Our business continuity plan has also been reviewed to ensure we are well prepared to move as quickly as needed to support our employees and customers. The plan considers any potential impact to our services if we have significant employee absence from work either through illness and the need to self-isolate or due to the need to care for dependants in the event of school closures etc.

The situation remains dynamic and a rapidly evolving one, however, our core message at this stage is “business as usual”, with additional risk management strategies in place and our multiple laboratory locations throughout Australia serving as backup to each other, while preparing for future scenarios. Please be assured that we will keep you informed of any changes that we may need to make to our services as the situation unfolds. 

Thank you for your continued support as we adapt to these challenging times together.

If you need any assistance, please contact our Customer Service team on 1300 703 166 or

Stay safe and take care,

Public Holiday Notice

Symbio Laboratories Labour Day (Victoria) Public Holiday Operations

For information regarding Symbio Laboratories’ Victoria-only Labour Day Public Holiday operations please read on…

Symbio Laboratories Australia Day Public Holiday Operations

For information regarding Symbio Laboratories’ Australia Day Public Holiday operations please read on…

Melbourne Cup Public Holiday 2017 Sample Submissions

Symbio Laboratories will be operating at limited capacity over the Melbourne Cup public holiday…

Brisbane Ekka Public Holiday

Symbio Laboratories will be operating with limited capacity in Brisbane for the Ekka public holiday (Wednesday, 16 August). Read for submission details…

Symbio Laboratories acquires Advanced Analytical Australia

In a positive move for both companies, Symbio Laboratories has acquired Sydney based laboratory company Advanced Analytical Australia Pty Ltd (AAA).

Visit Symbio Laboratories at FoodPro 2017

We are kicking off the new financial year with a bang by exhibiting at FoodPro 2017. Find out more…

NATA Scope – June 2017

Symbio Laboratories provides one of the broadest scopes of NATA accreditations of any Australian laboratory. View ours here.

Change of Banking Details – May 2017

Symbio Laboratories’s banking details have changed. Find out more.

Symbio Laboratories acquires Enviro-Check Enterprises Pty Ltd – Expands Reach

As part of Symbio Laboratories’ commitment to providing top-tier environmental analysis, we are excited to announce the increase in our number of laboratories, with the acquisition of Enviro-Check Enterprises sites in Townsville and Perth.

Rockhampton Microbiology Laboratory

Looking for a lab in North Queensland? Symbio Laboratories has a dedicated microbiology laboratory in Rockhampton.

Symbio Laboratories is on Twitter

Follow Symbio Laboratories on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest testing and reporting requirements, need-to know industry news and…

January 26 Public Holiday

With the mandated Australia Day public holiday this week, our laboratories will be operating with a reduced staff on Thursday, 26th January.

As we cannot guarantee sample delivery by 3rd party couriers by COB Wednesday 25th, we advise any customers planning on testing or submitting samples leading up to the public holiday to contact the Customer Service Team or your Account Manager to discuss your project timelines and required service delivery.

Symbio Laboratories wishes all our clients and suppliers a safe and happy holiday.

Telephone: 1300 703 166



Christmas Period Operating Hours

Our Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Wagga Wagga sites will be open except for the mandated public holidays of 26-27 December 2016 and 2 January 2017.

If you are planning on testing or submitting samples leading up to Christmas or over the Christmas/New Year period, please contact the Customer Service Team or your Account Manager to discuss your project timelines and required service delivery.

We wish all our clients and suppliers a safe and happy Christmas!

Telephone: 1300 703 166

Symbio Laboratories Pty Ltd acquires Food Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd

In an exciting move, Symbio Laboratories Pty Ltd has today announced the acquisition of Food Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd, a Melbourne based laboratory serving the dairy and other food industries in microbiological and chemical analysis.

Chief Executive Officer of Symbio Laboratories, David Phillips explained the acquisition was part of a five year strategic plan, with Food Laboratories an important element for expanding operations in Victoria.

“Food Laboratories has operated continuously for over 80 years to support and assist a variety of food manufacturing companies,” Mr Phillips said. “They are well established and respected with a high level of quality service which fitted with our own business model.”

Like Food Laboratories, Symbio Laboratories is privately owned, with the owners and Directors working in the business in day to day roles. This was an important consideration taken by the Directors in Food Laboratories in their decision to sell the business to Symbio Laboratories.

This latest acquisition brings the number of Symbio Laboratories sites to seven (7).  Brisbane, Abbotsford (Melbourne), Brooklyn (Melbourne), Sydney, Rockhampton, Wagga Wagga and China.

Symbio will continue to operate from the Abbotsford and Brooklyn sites for at least 24 months, with plans ultimately to combine both sites into a single purpose-built facility. In the meantime, both Melbourne labs will work together to continue to provide clients with the service they expect.

With a broader scope, existing customers will enjoy a one-stop-shop for their testing needs as well as having access to new laboratory services.

“Clients will definitely benefit from our state of the art IT systems, managed by our in-house team of experts, including our on-line eResults,” Mr Phillips said.

Food Laboratories and Symbio personnel will be in contact with customers over the coming weeks for an update. For clients of Food Laboratories, there will be minimal impact to day-to-day services with sample collection and testing to continue as it always has done. Importantly, clients will still have familiar faces as their point of contact, as Food Laboratories staff will transfer across in similar roles.

For media enquiries, contact David Phillips CEO of Symbio Laboratories on (07) 3340 5700

Fast Facts on Symbio Laboratories

Symbio Laboratories Change of Trading Details

As a result of our continued growth, HPC Holdings Pty Ltd atf the Symbio Alliance Trust, trading as Symbio Laboratories, will start trading as a company commencing
1 November 2016. There is no change to ownership or the services offered by Symbio Laboratories.

Customers and suppliers are requested to update their records with our new ABN, Company Name and Bank account details.

New Company Name:                Symbio Laboratories Pty Ltd

New ABN:                                      82 079 645 015

ACN:                                                079 645 015 (no change)

New Bank account details:      084-209 76 403 8148

Head Office address:                  44-52 Brandl Street (PO Box 4312), Eight Mile Plains, QLD 4113


Customers and suppliers who have a legal contract with HPC Holdings Pty Ltd should contact their Account Manager or our Customer Service department on 1300 703 166 or email

Sampling Guidelines for the Meat Industry

MINTRAC recently invited Symbio Laboratories to present information at the AMPC/MINTRAC Meat Industry Inspection and Quality Assurance Network Meetings. The presentation provided a refresher on the Department of Agriculture Meat Notice 2003/6 Revised ESAM Program sampling guidelines, as well as common issues encountered with taking and transporting samples for microbiological or chemical analysis.

Symbio Laboratories Business Development Director, Peter Horchner, explained that the main objectives to consider when sampling are:

  1. Taking a sample which is truly representative of the product; and
  2. Getting the sample to the laboratory in the same state or condition as it was when the sample was taken.

In practice, getting a representative sample means having consistent sampling technique over time, regardless of the process or person taking the sample. It also involves taking the right quantity (weight, area or volume) of the product as a sample.

Being aware of potential sources of cross contamination during the sampling process is important for ensuring an accurate test result, particularly for microbiological tests.

“We have seen examples of carcass swabbing templates that could be a potential source of contamination due to poor design or surface imperfections on the template itself which can potentially harbour bacteria,” Mr Horchner said. “The lesson here is to design the templates to minimise contamination and inspect them regularly for wear and tear.”

When transporting samples to the laboratory, getting the samples there quickly and in the same state as when sampled is critical to the final result. The biggest risk factors include temperature changes, time delays and damage in transit.

Mr Horchner provided photo examples of well packaged and transported samples, as well as rejected consignments caused by poor packing techniques, inadequate ice gel packs, leakages  or temperature abuse.

“In one unfortunate case, a courier company reported blood leaking from an esky which damaged other parcels in transit and almost resulted in a claim to clean the aircraft belly space,” Mr Horchner said.

MINTRAC Chief Executive Officer, Jenny Kroonstuiver said of the presentation, “It is important that meat companies are aware of common sampling issues to maintain the integrity of test results, particularly as companies rely on this information to validate their food safety and QA programs.”

“MINTRAC will continue to support the dissemination and sharing of this type of information at our Network Meetings,” she said.

Symbio Laboratories has completed presentations at the Network meetings in Brisbane, Perth, Wagga Wagga, Melbourne, Adelaide and Launceston. You can still register to attend at other locations through the MINTRAC website at

·        Tamworth 17 November 2016

For further information on meat sampling protocols, guidelines and testing programs contact

Symbio Laboratories on 1300 703 166 or email

Symbio Laboratories Sydney – New Facility Move

Exciting things are happening at Symbio Laboratories and we have important news to share with you.

In a much anticipated move, Symbio Laboratories Sydney Branch will be relocating to a new purpose built facility at 2 Sirius Road Lane Cove West NSW 2066. This move will strengthen our position as a leading food and environmental laboratory in Sydney, provide our staff with a safer and more pleasant working environment and allow us to achieve increased efficiencies that weren’t possible at the Enfield site.

Our current Sydney Laboratory at 1 Braidwood Street Enfield will close at 12pm on Friday 30th September 2016.

Symbio Laboratories will re-open for business at the new Lane Cove site at 8.30am on Tuesday 4th October 2016.

We do not anticipate any disruption to our routine testing services during the move, but would appreciate customer’s cooperation in the following.

  1. Update your records to ensure your samples are delivered to the Lane Cove address from 4th October 2016.
  2. Avoid sending samples to the Sydney laboratory between Friday 30th of September to Monday 3rd of October. We will not be able to accept new samples. Samples already under analysis will not be affected.
  3. If you have major project work planned around the move dates, please contact us so we can discuss alternative arrangements.

If you have any concerns or queries, please feel free to contact your Account Manager or our Customer Service Department on 1300 703 166 or via email

Thank you for your on-going support as a valued customer of Symbio Laboratories and we look forward to increasing our analytical offering to you from our new Sydney location.

Recent Additions to NATA Scope of Accreditation – September Update

Symbio Laboratories is pleased to announce recent additions to our NATA scope of accreditation for the following:

Brisbane Laboratory

  • Analysis of soil for Nitrogen using Auto Kjeldahl
  • Analysis of waters for AMPA, Glufosinate, Glyphosate using LCMS
  • Analysis of waters for Dimethyl Disulphide, Geosmin, 2-Methylisoborneol, 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole by purge and trap using GCMS
  • Analysis of waters for Biotoxins: Anatoxin-a, Cylindrospermopsin, Microcystin-RR, Microcystin-YR, Microcystin-LR , Nodularin, Saxitoxin , Neosaxitoxin using LCMS
  • Analysis of waters, wastewaters and saline waters for  Multiresidues (e.g. Trace level, OC, OP) by GCMS
  • Analysis of waters for Dithiocarbamates: Ferbam, Mancozeb, Maneb, Metham-Sodium, Metiram, Propineb, Thiram, Zineb, Ziram using GC, GCMS

Sydney Laboratory

  • Analysis of food for:

–  Clostridium perfringens using AS 5013.16 method

–  Coliforms and E. coli using AOAC 991.14 method (Petrifilm)

–  Coliforms and E. coli using AS 5013.3, AS 5013.15 methods

–  Lactobacillus spp. using in-house M10.2 method

–  Listeria enumeration using AS 5013.24.2 method

–  Salmonella using AS 5013.10 method (cultural)

–  CP Staphylococcus using AS 5013.12.1 method

  • Analysis of water for:

–  Coliforms, E. coli and Thermotolerant Coliforms (MF) using AS 4276.5, AS 4276.7 methods

This news will be regularly updated with additions to our scope of accreditation as they become available.

For more information about how Symbio Laboratories can assist you with your testing requirements, simply call 1300 703 166 or email

Symbio Laboratories Appoints Dr Grazia Gargiulo

Symbio Laboratories is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Grazia Gargiulo as a new Environmental Account Manager.

Grazia comes to Symbio Laboratories with a background in environmental consulting and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience which will assist Symbio Laboratories to expand its environmental testing capabilities into new and existing markets.

Grazia’s main focus will be to provide technical support to our clients in the environmental sector with the focus to work together with our customers to assist with their environmental testing requirements for:

  • Soil and sediment – dredging spoils, contaminated land sites, acid sulphate soil and agricultural soil
  • Air quality – dust
  • Waste – effluent, solid wastes
  • Microbiological testing, including natural attenuation and bioremediation.

To find out more about how Symbio Laboratories can assist you with your environmental testing requirements, simply call 1300 703 166or email

Getting More From Less – Messages from the 2016 Grain Conference

The Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) 2016 is the ‘must attend’ event on the grains industry calendar annually and is recognised as the premier grains industry conference. Symbio Laboratories took advantage of the opportunity to meet with clients, catch up with friends and colleagues and hear the latest developments in the industry by participating as an exhibitor at this event.

Over 950 delegates attended this year with the bulk of attendees being traders in what is becoming an increasingly competitive and global market. This years program was built around the theme “Sound Foundations: Fresh Horizons” which reflected the opportunities that are in front of the Australian grains industry as it matures and adapts to a more competitive and increasingly global environment.

Presentations on the progress of grain innovation and trading initiatives from competitors including Mexico and the Black Sea served as a stark reminder that Australian producers need to maintain an increased investment in research if we are to deliver on the productivity increases required to even maintain our current position and player in international grain trade. The latest ANZ review states that Australian agriculture needs to lift productivity by 10% by 2030 in order to maintain global competitiveness.

Jack Bobo from Intrexon reinforced the message that globally food production is under considerable stress.  World population growth is predicted to rise from the current level of 7 billion to 9 billion in 2050, while land availability for food production continues to decline. Investment in research has seen dramatic increases in productivity as measured against a bushel of corn from 1980 to 2011:

  • 40% less land
  • 60% less erosion of soil
  • 50% less water
  • 40% less energy
  • 35% less green house gases.

Even after such advances, agriculture is now finding itself being hindered by ill informed consumer choices driving market demand for foods that can only be grown less efficiently – using more resources rather than less.

Australian grain producers are under pressure to ensure the lowest possible cost of the supply chain and fastest speed of receival of grain in order to meet global market benchmarks. Increasingly though, our global clients are using technical barriers to grain importation by demanding more and more extensive residue lists with lower MRL’s – even for compounds not sold in Australia.

Symbio Laboratories works closely with the National Residue Survey to ensure that we are on the front foot, providing up to date and validated testing options to Australian grain companies marketing to a range of standards world wide. By staying fully informed of market trends and pressures, Symbio Laboratories is ensuring our offering of tests is not only relevant, but cost effective and rapid.

For further information about how Symbio Laboratories can assist you with your grain testing requirements, simply call 1300 703 166 or email today.

Fresh Produce Safety Centre Conference

Symbio Laboratories will be attending the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Conference at the University of Sydney on August 10 2016.  Come and talk to Sue Avery and Kris Giddings to see how we can assist you with your MRL, Residue, Microbiological and Chemical testing requirements.

As a NATA accredited one stop shop, we can cater for your fruit and vegetable testing needs, including:

Microbiological Testing

  • Standard Plate Count (SPC)
  • Coliforms, faecal coliforms, E. coli
  • Salmonella
  • Listeria species including L. monocytogenes
  • Staphylococci

MRL and Residue Testing

  • Insecticides, acaricides, fungicides, herbicides, carbamates, dithiocarbamates
  • Fruit dip wash
  • Heavy metals
  • Nitrates

Chemical Testing

  • Nutritional profiles (e.g. Carbohydrates/Energy, Protein, Fat, Fibre, Fatty acid profile, Vitamins and all elements)

For fast reliable results, let Symbio Laboratories assist you with all aspects of your quality assurance and product specification requirements. Simply call 
1300 703 166
 or email today to see how we can help you.

No Price Increase for 2016/17

NEWS FLASH – No Price Increase for 2016/17

Symbio Laboratories is pleased to announce that as a result of implemented operational efficiencies and our determination to provide our valued customers with cost-effective testing at the fastest possible turnaround times, Symbio Laboratories will maintain its current pricing for the 2016/17 financial year.

This is great news at this time when we expect many of you will be finalising your budgets for 2016/17.

From the team at Symbio Laboratories, we thank you for your continued business as we strive to provide you with the highest level of service possible.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 703 166 or alternatively contact our customer service department at

Symbio Laboratories Legionella Seminar

With Legionella detection slowly on the rise and the introduction of new Queensland Government legislation requiring quarterly testing and reporting to be made public, Symbio Laboratories held a seminar aimed at educating facility managers about what Legionella is and how to manage it.

The seminar held at Brisbane Technology Park Convention Centre was attended by almost 60 guests including representatives of many of Queensland’s leading aged care facilities and hospitals.

Guest speakers included Dr Janet Cumming (Director of Water Unit) Queensland Health, Dr Vyt Garnys (Principal Consultant) CETEC, Katherine Taylor (Infection Control Manager) Wesley Hospital and Colin Divola (National Microbiology Manager) Symbio Laboratories.

With the burning question on everyone’s mind, ‘what is the current legislation requirements’ and ‘how can we manage it’, the guest speakers set to work explaining what Legionella is, what it does and the appropriate measures to control it (including how its tested in a laboratory and the time frame around it). Dr Cumming discussed what makes Legionella so difficult to manage especially in healthcare, why we need to manage it better and the approach taken to Legionella management. She also provided an overview of the new national Legionella guidelines and the requirements for water risk management plans under the proposed amendments to the Public Health Act.

Dr. Vyt Garnys proceeded to provide an insight into the identification of sample points, number of samples required per facility, water quality risk management plans, enHealth guidelines and measures for mitigating legionella growth which allowed attendees to gain a better understanding about risk management and the importance of having an action and communication plan.

Katherine Taylor captivated the audience with her firsthand experience dealing with the legionella detection at the Wesley hospital and the steps taken to identify practical implications of legionella control and in-house treatment measures. She raised an important point that UV/filtration and chlorine flush is a preventative measure and is not the stop measure for Legionella. It needs to be consistently monitored.

Colin Divola finished the day by providing information about NATA based analytical testing procedures in a laboratory, analysis time frame (why it takes 7-10 days) and future trends such as new technologies and lower reporting levels.

Main Points Raised

Dr. Janet Cumming advised that:

  • It is the responsibility of the facility Water Management Team to develop Water Quality Risk Management Plan. Fines can be incurred if failure to do so.
  • Legionella sampling should only be undertaken to confirm that control measures are working
  • Confirmed legionella results to be reported within one business day

Dr. Vyt Garnys stated that:

  • Government and Standards controls are being tightened
  • Australia is lagging with technologies
  • Coping with different water qualities presents unique problems i.e. some facilities are using bore water that is over 60oC when it comes out of the ground.
  • Sustainability initiatives such as low water flow and reduced temperatures have led to unintended consequences

Katherine Taylor provided a practical perspective for dealing with legionella control and outlined:

  • The control measures initiated at the Wesley hospital and the difficulty in eradicating legionella
  • The need for plumbing controls to avoid dead legs and low flow areas
  • Testing of ice machines instigated

Colin Divola outlined:

  • The current analysis procedure according to AS/NZS 3896-2008 and the time required to report positives (7-10 days)
  • The method required to reduce the reporting limit rom 10cfu/mL to 1 cfu/100mL ie 1000 times lower
  • Faster techniques such as PCR and MALDI-TOF MS

All in all, this entire seminar proved to be quite informative and a huge success which left a lot to think about for facility managers from both the health and aged care sectors.

From the team at Symbio Laboratories, we would like to thank our guest speakers for taking the time to speak at our seminar.

For further information about how Symbio Laboratories can assist you with your legionella requirements, simply contact us on 1300 703 166 or Click Here.

Symbio Lab Joins AIFST Advisory Committee

Symbio Lab Joins AIFST Advisory Committee

Sue Avery has been accepted to join the 49th Annual AIFST Convention Technical Program Advisory Committee.

Sue bring with her a wealth of knowledge within the food industry and was accepted to the position for her skill and experience in Food Safety & Commercial Drivers.

The Convention will be the most important food and allied industries conference and exhibition held in 2016. A two day program will provide delegates with the latest updates on industry innovations and developments, current trends and insights related to the food industry and the latest food science and technology research with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific Region.

Participation on the Technical Program Advisory Committee will contribute to a successful Convention for AIFST members and the Australian food industry.

The Annual AIFST Convention will be held in conjunction with the 2016 Foodtech Exhibition in Brisbane from 27 – 28 June 2016

We would like to congratulate Sue on her appointment and we look forward to her contribution!

For more information about the AIFST Convention, simply click here.