The container used to store a sample should not interact with the sampled material nor allow contamination. It should also protect the sample from light, air, moisture, etc., as required by the storage directions for the material sampled. As a general rule, the container should be sealed and tamperproof. The container must be properly labelled.
Samples of loose materials, whether solid or liquid, should be placed in one or more clean containers. Liquid samples should be transported in glass bottles closed by screw-tops with inert liners that provide a good vapour-proof (moisture-proof) seal for the contents. Glass screw-top jars are preferable also for solid or semi-solid materials, but metal tins may be used when there is no risk of chemical interaction. In this case the lids should be taped shut. The use of plastic containers is not recommended. Light-sensitive materials should be protected by using amber glass containers or by wrapping colourless glass containers in black paper.
Solid dosage forms, such as tablets or granules, should be protected during transit, either by totally filling the container with the product or by filling any residual space with a suitable material. All containers should be sealed and labelled and all samples from an individual sampling unit of a single consignment should be transported in a single sealed box that is adequately packaged to avoid breakage in transport.
All containers that come apart (e.g. screw-capped jars, metal tins with separate lids) should be labelled on all parts to avoid cross-contamination when they are opened for examination.
If one sample is divided into several sample containers, they should be transported in a single, sealed box, labelled to identify the product, the consignment from which the sample was drawn, the size of the sample, the date and the place of sampling, and the name of the inspector. If the sample is collected in one container only, which is already provided with a tamperproof seal, the label with the necessary information may be attached directly to the container.
Security and adequate storage conditions must be ensured for the rooms where samples are stored.
Supervision of the sampling process should also be provided.