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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Specimen Collection Instruction Packages

​Fecal Fat Collection

Sample Collection Instruction

For correct test results, follow these instructions carefully. Incorrect test results can cause an important medical problem to be missed, or the ordering of more tests which may be unnecessary.

Return collected sample to Royal University Hospital Selective Test Centre.

Before Collection:

Follow instructions on the diet menu to eat a diet containing 100 grams of fat each day for 6 days. Refer to menu section of this document. Collect the stool samples during the last 3 days of the 6 day special diet. For infants or young children, a regular home diet should be taken if the diet formula cannot be followed.

How to collect samples:

  • Collect ALL stool passed for a 72 hour (3 day) period
  • Collect all stool into the large metal can that is given to you by the laboratory
  • For a baby, stool from diapers is scraped into the metal collection can. Be careful not to get diaper material into the collection can. A minimum of 50 grams of stool is required. It may be necessary to collect stool from an infant for up to 5 days is stool volume is low.
  • For a child not in diapers, collect the stool in a container in the toilet bowl, from a potty or the child can sit directly on the metal collection can
  • For an adult, collect the stool directly into the metal can
  • If, during the collection time, the can is getting to be more than 2/3 full, obtain another can from the laboratory to complete the test

Note: Only stool should go into the metal collection can. Do not put in toilet paper, urine, plastic wrap or any other foreign material.

Storage of the metal collection can:

  • Keep the collection can in a cool place, in a basement or garage or outside in cold weather or in a large pail with ice cubes
  • Keep the lid of the can on tightly

What to do after collecting the samples:

  • The can must be clearly labelled with the information as indicated above
  • Bring the can to the Royal University Hospital Selective Test Centre the same day collection is finished
    • If the collection is finished on a weekend, Monday morning is okay if the can is kept cool.
    • Hand the can to one of the laboratory staff; do not just leave it on the counter

Diet Menu for 72 Hour Stool Collection for Fecal Fat Test

Fecal fat test is to make the diagnosis of mal-absorption. To get an effective test result, it is necessary to eat a diet containing 100 grams of fat each day for 6 days. Please follow this diet for 3 days before beginning the stool collection and during the 3 days of the stool collection.

Type of Food​

​Estimated Grams of Fat

​Type of Food

​Estimated Grams of Fat

Milk and Milk Products​ ​Fruits and Vegetables​
1/2  cup 2% milk​2​Most fuits and vegetables contain negligible amounts of fat with the exception of avocados.​ ​
1/2 cup whole milk​​41/2 small avocado​16
1/2 cup ice cream (10% fat)​​7
1/4 cup whipping cream​​6
1 oz cheddar cheese​​9
1 oz cottage cheese​​1.2
1 oz cream cheese​​10
Breads and Cereals​ ​Fat
muffin​​4​5ml /1 tsp/1 pattie butter or margarine​5
bread (1 slice)​​negligible​1 tsp oil​5
1 small danish roll​​8​1 tbsp italian dressing​5
1/6 single crust pie​7​​1 tsp mayonnaise​5
pasta and cereal​​negligible​2 tbsp gravy​5
Meats and Alternatives​ ​Miscellaneous
Egg​​5​10 peanuts​5
30 g (1 oz) lean meat or poultry​​3​1 tbsp peanut butter​7
30 g (1 oz) luncheon meats (not light variety)​​5
30 g fish​​very low unless fried
1 slice bacon​​4


If you choose to print this information, it is valid only on date of print.

Laboratory Controlled Document LSM-539 v:1

Last Modified: Monday, September 28, 2015 |
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