Do you have an overview of your parcels to be received at all times or do parcels sometimes get lost in your organization? Have you ever considered the biosecurity risks involved in sending and receiving pathogens by post?

The scenario: wandering package

High-risk pathogens are sent to your organization for a new research project. The researcher who should receive the package thinks that the shipment is taking too long and contacts the sender. The sender indicates that he received a confirmation of receipt from an employee of your organization a few days ago. Through inquiry and an internal search, the package is found in another department. What biosecurity risks are there in this scenario? And more importantly, how can these be prevented?

Risks and action perspective

High-risk materials can be lost or even stolen. This risk increases when materials are removed from the secure lab environment, as more people now potentially have access to them. In addition, when transporting these materials, control is transferred from the sender via a carrier to the recipient of the package. That is why it is very important that:

  • the transfer of high-risk material is pre-arranged and approved by the responsible parties;
  • the transport is carried out by a recognized and qualified carrier;
  • there is registration and active management of the materials before, during and after transport.

By assigning responsibility to several persons, control over the material can be ensured. Registration can also prevent the loss or theft of equipment from going undetected.

Share your scenario

Would you like to discuss further with the Biosecurity Office about how to deal with this scenario, do not hesitate to contact us. If you encounter a biosecurity scenario that you would like to share with colleagues, let us know! The Biosecurity Office can be reached via