Sample Integrity Observation #2 Sample Temperature > 10.0C

Modified on: Tue, 7 May, 2019 at 12:42 PM


Samples that are kept cool best resemble the sample at the time of collection.  Regulations or methods will often specify the requirement to keep samples cool in order to minimize biodegradation and/or chemical reactions that could impact the integrity of the sample.


  • Best Practice is to use loose ice, double bagged
  • Put samples on ice as soon as they are collected
  • For packing, distribute ice throughout the cooler (i.e. not localized at the bottom, top or side)
    • Do not recommend the use of ice packs
    • Do not recommend the use of free or loose ice
  • Check the local weather forecast and add extra ice, especially during “hot spells”
  • Assume there will be delays in transit – pack coolers with extra ice especially when shipping during peak holiday travel times


Cooling is required to preserve sample integrity.  Upon receipt, temperature of three samples located at each end of the cooler and middle is taken with an NIST certified gun.

Three temperature readings are transcribed onto COC and the average is calculated.

Any sample submission arriving at the lab must be <10 unless delivered to the lab on the same day of sampling.

When samples are delivered on the same day of sampling, it is still expected that the cooler will contain ice.

A Deficiency is applied when samples are received on the same day as sampling with no attempt to cool the samples and when samples are received at the lab with temperature >10.0

If samples arrive frozen, deficiency will not be applied unless they are micro samples.


  1. Bureau Veritas Laboratories takes three temperatures from every shipping container/cooler (one located at each end of cooler and middle) using a NIST-certified IR reader. 
  2. These temperature readings are transcribed onto the COC and the average of the three temperatures is calculated.  *This calculated average temperature is applied to all samples in the cooler and is included on the final report.

Average Temperature* Upon Receipt
Temperature Exceedence?
< 10.0°C
> 10.0°C
> 10.0°C received sameday as samples were collected
No - As long as a reasonable attempt to cool has been made
Frozen Samples
No – Unless it is a microbiological sample

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