Sample Integrity Observation #1 Custody seal not intact.

Modified on: Thu, 2 May, 2019 at 2:25 PM


Custody seals are used for legal defensibility.  A secure seal upon receipt indicates the cooler and samples have not been tampered with during transit.

How to Apply a Custody Seal:

  • Sign and date the custody seal and apply so that the seal covers both the lid and the body of the cooler 
  • For coolers with a hinged lid, 1 seal is sufficient and should be placed over the opening
  • For coolers with a lift-off lid, use 2 seals
  • Seals should be securely attached with lots of tape - for example, in a “T” shape

Bureau Veritas Laboratories provide custody seals upon request.


Custody seals on coolers are not mandatory.  The Bureau Veritas Laboratory records the state of the custody seal upon receipt.  In cases where seals are broken or appear to be tampered with, the lab contacts you for further direction on how to proceed.

As a reminder, lab supplied Travel Blank samples should also have a custody seal. 

  • This custody seal is supplied by the lab and applied to the travel blank sample for transport to the customer
  • The seal should be intact upon customer receipt
  • The seal should remain intact during the entire sampling event including any transit
  • The seal should remain intact upon receipt back at the lab


Custody seals are required on all sample submission to ensure samples have not been tampered with in transit.

Having said this, deficiency is applied when there is no custody seal present on the cooler, not placed across opening of the cooler lid, not sealed across opening, not intact upon receipt or it is not signed/dated.

Custody seals need to be applied at all times including when the samples are directly dropped off to the lab.

One seal is required if a hinged lid is used, two seals on lift off lids and additional seals on all openings if lid has an easy access door.

Seals must be securely attached with lots of tape.

Examples of improperly applied custody seals on coolers.

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