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EMSL Analytical Tests NHL’s Stanley Cup for Bacteria


EMSL Analytical tested the legendary trophy for the Chicago Tribune this month to see if the 5,000 people that touch and kiss it each day it is on tour are spreading dangerous pathogens.

Cinnaminson, NJ

Last week the National Hockey League’s (NHL) beloved Stanley Cup came to the offices of the Chicago Tribune. The Stanley Cup is awarded annually to the NHL championship team and unlike the other major league professional sports in the United States a new trophy is not made each year.

The Stanley Cup has a history dating back to 1892 and today the Cup is allotted to the winning team for 100 days during the off-season. It is always accompanied by a representative from the Hockey Hall of Fame when it goes on tour. In recent years the Stanley Cup has journeyed as far as Afghanistan so coalition troops fighting overseas could see the Cup firsthand.

Staff at the Chicago Tribune swabbed the Stanley Cup to see if the thousands of people that kiss and touch the Cup when it is on tour have left behind the types and levels of microbial pathogens that could make people sick. Because of the high profile publicity, EMSL Analytical’s Chicago laboratory was chosen to test the samples because of their reputation for providing the highest quality laboratory analysis and technical expertise in bacterial analysis. To many people’s surprise the laboratory results showed very little bacterial contamination.

Only 400 counts of general bacteria were found while a typical office desk has as many as 10,000. Considering the number of people that touch the Cup it was eye opening. According to the curator of the Cup it undergoes a soft detergent wash once a day and is taken apart and polished twice each year.

“There are a number of employees at EMSL Analytical that are diehard NHL fans,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President at EMSL Analytical. “It was a pleasure and an honor to be able to analyze samples from the Stanley Cup. Our laboratory has been called upon by the media to analyze everything from flip flops to diet foods recently, but the Stanley Cup tops it all.”

For more information on testing services and products provided by EMSL please call (800) 220-3675, visit or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of quality environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 NHL Stanley Cup Bacteria
 Chicago Tribune Hockey
 Hockey Hall of Fame
 Afghanistan Tour Journey
 NHL championship

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