The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of bacteraemia during tonsillectomy and investigate the effect of the timing of culture sampling on the incidence of bacteraemia associated with it. Sixty-four consecutive patients who had been admitted for elective tonsillectomy were included in the study. Patients were randomly classified into two groups. Blood cultures as well as tonsillar surface and deep tissue cultures were obtained from all patients before tonsillectomy and 60 minutes after tonsillectomy. In addition, blood cultures were taken within two minutes following tonsillectomy for group 1 and 15 minutes after tonsillectomy for group 2. In group 1, the cultures obtained within two minutes were positive in nine patients, while only two of the blood cultures taken post-operatively were positive in group 2. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p<0.05). The results of this study suggest that a transient bacteraemia occurs frequently in association with tonsillectomy, but the timing of culture sampling for its detection is important.