When to Do Spore Testing

A biological spore test must be done:

  • at a minimum once every two weeks for each autoclave in use
  • after two failed temperature sensitive indicator tests
  • parameters of physical (mechanical) monitoring not met
  • after a failed spore test*
  • to test a new or backup sterilizer*
  • after repairs to an existing sterilizer*
  • if the autoclave has not been in use for more than 2 weeks*
  • if the business moves to a new fixed location*


*must pass 3 consecutive spore tests BEFORE use

A negative test result (no spore growth) means that the sterilizer is operating properly.

Positive test results (spore growth observed) mean that the sterilizer has failed and is not operating properly.

Positive Spore tests

If the autoclave fails (spore test is positive) stop using the autoclave immediately

  • 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 Spore Tests to the BodySafe Program, Toronto Public Health

By telephone

Monday to Friday
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Tel: 416-338-7600

After Hours, Weekends, and Statutory Holidays
Tel: 3-1-1
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 representative’s:
    • name
    • regional office
    • telephone number