400 Aviation Drive
P.O. Box 1566
Mt. Vernon, IL  62864
Phone: 618-244-3235
Fax: 618-244-1149
E-Mail: techserv@ardlinc.com
Decades of Experience
Established in 1971

Download Acceptable Sampling Practices as PDF document

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Sample & Cooler Shipping Procedures
In order to protect the samples being shipped to ARDL by a commercial carrier or courier and to ensure that samples are received at the required temperature, the following guidelines should be followed:

As soon as possible after collection samples should be chilled to the transport temperature of 4° C (± 2 degrees).

After samples have been adequately chilled, place packing material and chilling material at the bottom of the cooler, arrange samples in individual sealed plastic bags (e.g. Ziploc) and temperature blank in the cooler with additional packing and cooling material, then place additional cooling and packing material on top of the samples.  Seal required documentation in a plastic bag and tape to the inside lid of the cooler.  Close the cooler and tape around the top seal of the cooler to aid in the temperature control of the samples and ensure the integrity of sample custody.

Temperature blank:  Small plastic bottle (1/2 pint or 200 mL) filled with clean water and clearly marked as a temperature blank.  The purpose of a temperature blank provide a fair representation of sample temperature upon laboratory receipt  Temperature blanks can be provided by ARDL with accompanying bottle order.

Packing material:  Bubble pack is the best packing material for the protection of samples from breakage.  Foam packing can help absorb some shock of transport and protect samples from breakage. Samples sealed in Ziploc bags are useful for protecting the bottle labels during transport and can help contain sample material in case of bottle breakage and avoid leakage into the cooler and onto the contents of the cooler.

Cooling material:  Ice bagged or double bagged in Ziploc bags are the best cooling material.  Blue ice is also acceptable, but is best used in conjunction with bagged ice.  Large prepackaged bags of ice are not good cooling material.  Additionally, loose ice is strongly not recommend, since melted ice may damage the bottle labels and/or slow or prevent shipment by commercial carriers.  Please keep in mind that the amount of cooling material used should typically increase in warmer months.

Results obtained on samples received outside of temperature specifications may be questionable. Laboratory personnel will call to explain the matter and determine whether or not sample analysis should proceed.