Summer = sunshine +hot weather + “hopeful” vacations! While this is a likely equation, our teams at Cherney have been noticing some reoccurring issues with incoming samples in the past few weeks. While we have worked with customers directly, it also gives us the opportunity for a very relevant blog topic. The information shared below is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT to ensuring that the samples being submitted to the laboratory arrive in the best possible condition. This allows for two things: 1) superior sample integrity and 2) the generation of accurate test results.
Let me share some reminders below:
- If possible, collect samples early on day you plan to ship. Refrigerate samples till ready to ship and ship in a cool condition.
- Use an insulated shipper for perishable products and environmental samples. Several frozen ice packs are to be placed in the shipper with the samples. From November to April, if your ice packs are small – use 3 to 5, if they are large – use 2 to 4. From May to October, if your ice packs are small – use 4 to 6, if they are large – use 3 to 5. Dry ice is ONLY to be used when shipping frozen foods. Products normally stored at room temperature may be shipped ambient in a sturdy box or envelope.
- DO NOT ship with ice – believe us, when we receive it, it’s now water!
- Protect the samples from direct contact with ice packs with packing material, insuring that the ice packs will still keep the samples cool. Fill up any air space remaining in shipper with packing material. Again – keep cold items, cold! This also helps to ensure that samples are not damaged during the shipping process.
- If you ship on Friday for Saturday delivery, ENSURE your shipping company will deliver the package on Saturday (some shipping companies require special stickers or notifications)
As always, we ask that you include a copy of your Analysis Request Form (ARF) in your shipping container as a chain of custody. Email it to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com as this allows us to anticipate your samples arrival and notify you if they are not delivered.
With just a few weeks left of summer, please feel free to share this information with your teams creating a win-win for us all!