When to Spore Test

A biological spore test must be done:

  • At least once every 2 weeks. Best practice is to test the sterilizer daily.
  • For loads with implantable devices used in body modification. The load must be held until the results are available.
  • After two failed temperature sensitive indicator tests

Spore test results:

  • A passed (negative) spore test means the sterilizer is working properly.
  • A failed (positive) spore test means the sterilizer is not working properly.
  • Keep copies of the spore test results for three years with a minimum of one year (365 days) on site.

**Do not use sterilized items or instruments until AFTER you receive the passed (negative) spore test results**

Three consecutive spore tests must be conducted if:

  • The sterilizer fails a spore test.
  • Mechanical malfunctions such as incorrect temperatures or times.
  • A new autoclave is used.
  • The autoclave has been repaired.
  • The business moves to a new fixed location.
  • After power outages or emergencies such as fires, floods.

The sterilizer must not be used until the results of the tests are received and all pass (negative).

Positive Spore tests

If the sterilizer fails (spore test is positive) stop using the sterilizer immediately and:

  • do not use items from failed load
  • do not use items processed after the last passed spore test
  • use purchased, pre-packaged, sterile items
  • contact Toronto Public Health

Report All Failed (Positive) Spore Tests

If your spore test fails, report it to the BodySafe Program, Toronto Public Health.

By telephone

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tel: 416-338-7600

After Hours, Weekends, and Statutory Holidays
Tel: 3-1-1
Tel: 416-392-2489 (Outside Toronto)

By email


If reporting by email or fax, include the following information.  If reporting by phone, have this information ready when you call:

  • last passed spore test result date
  • your name and telephone number
    • name of your Toronto Public Health Inspector, if available.