Laboratory Analysis

Laboratory analysis of samples from a suspicious outbreak will require strict handling and analytical procedures. The analyst must have documented and appropriate training and experience with that type of sample. Analyses will require calibrated equipment with standardized reagents. Internal standards, replicate analysis, and blind testing should be used for the highest possible credibility of results.66-70

It is important that the receiving laboratory maintain and document the chain of custody of the sample from the time of receipt until the report is finalized and clearance has been obtained from the submitting investigator. If information gained during the investigation suggests that the outbreak is due to a criminal event, the remaining sample should be retained in a secure environment to enable its use as evidence. The laboratory should record the date and time when the sample is received, the name of the person receiving the sample, and a record of the condition of the sample.

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