Cold chain management and quality control

It is essential to monitor the temperature of cool boxes and freezers and oversee custody of the biological specimens. If specimens are stored at the wrong temperature, even for a short period of time, they may no longer be usable and all the work to collect them could be wasted.

Cold chain management and quality control during specimen transportation and storage ensure that specimens are kept within the correct temperature range. All survey team members must be aware of the planned cold chain logistics, so that they can work together to ensure that the cold chain is properly maintained at all times. The Overview of cold chain logistics online tool provides an example of a good cold chain management system. The example is from a survey that had a comprehensive list of indicators and related biological specimen types (blood, urine and stool) that needed to be kept at temperatures varying from −20°C to approximately 8°C, in field conditions where electricity was not regularly available.

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