Food Sample Collection and Storage Data collection on fortified food Sample interview questions • “How many types of white wheat flour do you have in your house right now?” (Write down brand names of all types and what mill the flour was purchased from) • “When you buy salt, what amount of salt does your household normally buy?” (Write down the brand name if there is a label and if the packaging says iodized) • “How often does your household normally buy salt?” (Choices such as every day, once a week, or every two weeks are provided) More data collection on fortified food More sample interview questions • “Of the types of white wheat flour in your household, which type does your household buy most often?” (Write down brand name and from where the flour was purchased) • “Do you know if the flour you buy is fortified with iron or not?” (yes/no) • “Do you know if the salt you buy is iodized or not?” (yes/no) The following information was taken directly from guidelines provided by the Instituto de Nutrición de Centro América y Panamá (INCAP) in Guatemala Materials for Salt or Flour Collection Propylene plastic bags (2 lb) or plastic bottles (50 g capacity) Black plastic bags (25 lb capacity) Permanent markers 1 Spoon Scissors Data collection forms Masking-tape Paper napkins Rubbish bags Salt/flour Sampling Procedure Label the plastic bag or bottle for salt/flour collection with the household code. You can use labels or a strip of masking-tape. The labels should be written using the permanent markers. Explain to the study participant in simple words the procedure for taking the sample. The procedure is to request salt/flour that is used in the household for cooking. Mix the salt/flour very well and take around 5 spoonfuls. Deposit them in the bag or bottle. Seal the sample container and clean the spoon using the paper napkin. Put the napkin in the rubbish bag. Salt/flour Sample Transport and Storage Place the samples in the black plastic bag for transport. It is important to protect the samples from light and humidity during transport. On arrival at the laboratory, order the samples sequentially. Each laboratory should follow their own procedures for sample reception. Store the samples in a cool place and free from light and humidity, until the samples are analyzed or shipped to another laboratory. Materials for Bread Collection Paper bags (5 lb capacity) Black plastic bags (25 lb capacity) Permanent markers Scissors Data collection forms Masking-tape Paper napkins Rubbish bags Digital scales Bread Sampling Procedure Take the bread samples approximately at the time it is produced. Buy or request 5 loaves of bread. If the bread is hot, leave it to cool down. Take 5 measurement units of each type of bread and weigh it on the scales. Record the weight. Keep the samples in the paper bags. Make sure that the bread in the bags does not sweat. Bread sampling procedure Label the bag with masking-tape and write down the following data: • Code • Date of sample collection • Weight in grams Record the brand or type of flour used in the bakery or household on the corresponding forms. Seal the bags with the masking-tape. Avoid the bread sweating until they arrive at the laboratory. Bread Sample Transport and Storage Transport the samples in cool boxes, protected from light and humidity. On arrival at the laboratory, order the samples sequentially. Each laboratory should follow their own procedures for sample reception. If analyses are not carried out immediately, dry the bread and store the samples in the freezer, avoiding condensation until analysis. Shipment of Food Samples If the samples will be sent to a laboratory out of the country or to one far away in the same country, you should use the following steps for guidance: • Buy an adequate sized box for the number of samples that need to be sent. • Carefully introduce, close, and seal the samples in the box. • Close and seal the box very well. Use a good tape to seal it. • Label the box with the necessary information. Label for the Food Samples Shipment The following information must be included on the sample shipment box: • Sender contact information • Destination: Country, address, and details of the recipient • Write “FRAGILE” on the labels. • Specify the need of storage in cool places and free of humidity. • State clearly the correct position for transporting the container, indicating the upper side. Required transport information for the food samples shipment To: From: Keep in a cool place free of moisture FRAGILE Keep the box upright Shipment of food samples Before sending the samples, contact the recipient to agree on a shipping day. This day preferably would not be during the weekend, as shipments are likely to suffer delays. If the weekend is Saturday and Sunday, Monday or Tuesday are ideal days for shipping. Upon confirmation of the flight schedule for the shipment, send the following information to the recipient: flight number, airline, courier used, shipping and arrival times, quantity and the list of samples, and any other useful information. Attach the shipping guidelines and authorization forms for the samples transport. The guidelines should indicate the required storage temperature for the samples transport.