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Food forensic investigation test request form

09 November 2023

Food and export testing

Food forensic investigation request form

Use the food forensic form for identification of unidentified samples, for example a piece of foreign matter from a food product or process line, or an unidentified bad odour or flavour in food. This testing process is also used by the Physical Evidence team for the identification of and intelligence relating to foreign objects in food products. 

How to submit samples for Food Forensic analysis

  • For new clients, please email us first so we can arrange a contract for services - this is needed before we can receive samples and undertake analysis.

  • Package up sample/s (see notes below).

  • Label samples and then download and complete the sample submission form (download above),¬†giving as much detail as possible.

  • Send to ESR (drop off/courier address is listed on the form - please address C/o- Food Chemistry Laboratory)

Please provide as much detail as possible on the sample submission form so we understand exactly what you want to find out.

Packing samples

Generally packaging of samples is a matter of common sense. However there are some important considerations regarding packaging to ensure sample integrity:

  • Avoid the use of tape. Adhesive tapes can be used to close a package, but it should not come into contact with the sample, as the adhesive material can contaminate some types of tests, and some fragile samples may be physically damaged. If possible place the sample in a zip-lock bag or pottle.

  • For the analysis of taints, smells and contamination by suspected volatile compounds, use a glass container. For these jobs, we take a sample of the headspace (the air above the sample) to analyse, so it is very important the sample is contained in an airtight glass container. The lid should have a good seal. Plasticizers from the container may also contaminate the sample.

  • Live insects, eggs etc should be chilled. Development of these animals is temperature dependent, so cooling can help identify the stage of life cycle at discovery of the animal and opportunities for contamination of food.

  • Please make sure any liquids are in a container designed for the purpose and will not leak.

  • Anything frozen should be delivered in a chilly bin with cool-packs - not ice (ice can melt and leak from the chilly bin).