Customer Newsletter 2017

Message from the Joint Managing Director

What a year it’s been! 2017 marks another 12 months of substantial milestones for Symbio Laboratories, including;

  • An increase in our number of laboratory sites,
  • Greater depth to our already comprehensive NATA scopes,
  • Further additions to our highly qualified team, expanding our capabilities and depth of expertise, and
  • Celebrating Symbio Laboratories’ 20th year of operation.

On the back of acquisitions made throughout the back half of FY2017, Symbio Laboratories has strengthened its team and broadened its scope even further with Advanced Analytical Australia (AAA) falling under the Symbio Laboratories name, and water analysis laboratory Enviro-Check Enterprises joining the Symbio Laboratories Group.

These new additions bring with them not only an increase in services and capabilities, but stretch the Symbio Laboratories reach west into Perth, and further north to Townsville, making Symbio a true nation-wide one-stop shop for testing and analysis.

We have also experienced a number of big wins internally this year, earning NATA accreditation for MALDI-ToF rapid confirmation for Legionella, Listeria and Salmonella. With the risks associated with the contamination of such pathogens and disease outbreaks, MALDI-ToF and its reduced turnaround times of minutes, rather than days, is a huge advancement for our clients, and the safety of the public.  You’ll be able to read more on MALDI-ToF further in this newsletter.

It also gives me great pride in celebrating Symbio Laboratories’ 20th year of operation in August of 2017. As the largest independent and 100% Australian owned and operated laboratory service provider in the country, the last 2 decades have seen a lot of changes in the industries we service, and at Symbio. I would like to publicly thank our hard-working team who, whether in the lab, office, or on the road, continue to give their all in making Symbio Laboratories the trusted local name in laboratory testing and analysis.

And finally, I would like to thank our wonderful customers, for without them this year (or the previous twenty) of sustained growth would not have been possible. Symbio Laboratories takes great pride in ensuring we remain up-to-date with current industry needs and trends, ensuring our continued offering of the most relevant service possible. Our relationships with you, our customers, cannot be overstated, and we endeavour to continue to offer the services you require and expect for many years to come.

On behalf of the Symbio Laboratories Board of Directors, I sincerely thank you for your continued support, and wish you and your families a safe and merry Christmas.

Kind regards,

David Phillips

Joint Managing Director

The Symbio Story - 20 Years of Incubation, Preparation & Analysis

Take a look at the growth of Symbio Laboratories over the last 20 years.

From small beginnings to becoming Australia’s largest independently owned and operated laboratory, Symbio Laboratories has seen a lot of changes, and a lot of success in two decades, and we owe it all to our hard-working team, and our loyal customers.

Symbio Laboraotries Food Testing Environmental Testing Residue Testing

New Additions to the Symbio Team

This year we have welcomed a lot of new faces to the Symbio Laboratories team, and seen our number of sites grow, with the acquisition of Advanced Analytical Australia, and the addition of the Enviro-Check Enterprises (ECE) facilities in Townsville, Perth and Moranbah.

Joining the Symbio team from ECE are, among many others, experts in water testing for the mining and healthcare industries Dr Julian Catmull and Sonia Bates.

Following the acquisition of Advanced Analytical Australia we bring into the fold previous AAA owners Andrew Bradbury and Atilla Tottszer, who join Symbio Laboratories’ Business Development team, along with a number of dedicated team members and their years of valuable experience, specifically in the areas of environmental and marine testing. Andrew also joins the Symbio Laboratories Board of Directors, and we are excited to welcome his experience and vision for moving Symbio forward in the future.

Enviro-Check Enterprises Symbio Laboratories Company

Sample Submission Process

Ever wonder what happens when you submit a sample for analysis with Symbio Laboratories? Find out below:

Follow the journey your sample takes when you submit it with Symbio Laboratories, from Sample Receipt to Certificate of Analysis.

Rapid Confirmation of Pathogens

MALDI-Tof Symbio Laboratories Salmonella Legionella Listeria Detection Pathogen detection

One of the most beneficial additions to Symbio service repertoire this year has been the NATA accreditation for MALDI-ToF rapid confirmation.

Typically, analytical detection of pathogens such as Legionella, Listeria and Salmonella has involved separate “Screening for Detection” and “Confirmation” stages.

Based on Australian standards, incubation times for Salmonella, Listeria and Legionella have been 3 days, 5 days and 7 days respectively, with the added 3-4 day confirmation period following. This can leave companies waiting up to 10 days for confirmation of a dangerous pathogen. This gruelling wait also risks the delay of shipments and incurring additional costs on behalf of the company, or the spread of outbreaks such as Legionnaire’s disease.

Symbio Laboratories is NATA accredited for MALDI-ToF confirmation of Listeria, Salmonella and Legionella, allowing for the confirmation to genus level for Listeria and Salmonella, and species level for Legionella in minutes, rather than days once a presumptive positive is detected.

Pathogen Incubation following presumptive colony Traditional Confirmation MALDI-ToF Confirmation
Salmonella 3 Days + 3 Days From 15 Minutes
Listeria 5 Days + 4 Days From 15 Minutes
Legionella 7 Days + 3 Days From 15 Minutes

MALDI-ToF Rapid Confirmation Legionella Listeria Salmonella Symbio Laboratories

For more information on MALDI-ToF rapid pathogen confirmation at Symbio Laboratories, check out the Symbio Blog.

NATA Scopes - Another Year of Growth

With the addition of Advanced Analytical Australia and Enviro Check Enterprises, as well as our own internal proficiency programs, we’ve seen our already broad NATA scopes expand even further, providing customers with more testing options than ever before.

See For Yourself

For a complete list of up-to-date NATA scopes for each of our Symbio Laboratories locations, visit the Symbio Laboratories NATA Scopes page on our website at

Stay Informed - Key articles from the Symbio Laboratories Blog

We are continually adding new relevant content to our blog, and below is a snapshot of some of 2017’s most read articles. Follow the links to read the full stories, or head straight to the Symbio Blog.

Testing for Algae and Algal Toxins

Symbio Laboratories_Algal Toxins_Blue-Green Algae_Anabaenopsis sp.

Know how to submit samples should you suspect an algal toxin outbreak? Discover Symbio Laboratories’ testing capabilities for algal toxins, and make sure you’re prepared. Read more.

PFAS Testing with Symbio Laboratories

PFAS Testing Symbio Laboratories Environmental testing

PFAS are an emerging contaminant garnering a great deal of attention with governments and environmental monitoring organisations. Find out how Symbio can help. Find out more.

Legionnaire’s Outbreaks Harmful to Public and Brand Health

legionnaire's disease legionella symbio laboraotries

Food & water-borne illness outbreaks like Legionnaire’s can have ramifications on public health & brand reputation. Why risk it?  Read more.

Stay up to date


To stay up to date with the Symbio Laboratories blog and all other Symbio News, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Out and About - 2017 Events


It’s been a busy 12 months for our Marketing and Sales team, having attended and exhibited at events, conferences, trade shows and symposiums all over the country, including:

  • FoodPro 2017 – Sydney
  • Hort Connections 2017 – Adelaide
  • Food Allergen Management Symposium 2017 – Sydney
  • OzWater’17 – Sydney
  • Fresh Produce Safety Centre Conference 2017 – University of Sydney
  • SETAC (Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) Australasia Conference 2017 – Gold Coast
  • MINTRAC Quality Assurance Conference – Gold Coast
  • Australian Grain Storage and Protection Conference – Melbourne
  • National Legionella Management Conference 2017 – Gold Coast
  • QWater’17 – Sunshine Coast

We’re already in the process of planning our events for next year, so keep an eye on the Symbio Laboratories website, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts to find out where we’re heading next. We always look forward to catching up with our wonderful customers, and making new acquaintances, so stop on by.

Computer Says Yes - Better Service for Customers via Innovations in IT

When thinking about the day-to-day operations of a commercial laboratory, it’s natural to think only of the work performed at the benches, behind microscopes and at the expensive, scientific equipment. But an integral part of what keeps Symbio being able to improve our services are the dedicated efforts of our hardworking IT department.

The Symbio Laboratories IT team has been a large contributor to our growth over the last few years, bringing the implementation of our online eResults platform, providing clients with optimised reporting solutions and ensuring efficient technical communication between lab, office and customer.

While it’s a department our customers will have little interaction with, our IT team is a vital part of our provision of professional services our clients have come to expect, and an example of Symbio’s commitment to innovation through processes and technologies.

We are looking forward to another 12 months of innovation from the IT team in 2018!

Christmas Operating Hours

Symbio Laboratories (excluding Rockhampton) will be operating over the Christmas and New Year period, except for the mandated public holidays:

25th – 26th December 2017, and 1st January 2018.

Our Rockhampton site will not be operating from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Monday 15th January 2018.

For customers planning on testing or submitting samples leading up to Christmas, or over the Christmas/New Year period, we recommend contacting 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, and we look forward to working with you in the New Year.