mailing cultures from Canada to USA

Heather H Lord hlord at
Mon Nov 14 15:16:02 EST 1994

RICHARD A. MURPHY 312-996-8630 (U14663 at UICVM.UIC.EDU) wrote:
: Can anyone help?  Someone needs to mail some Staph cultures from Canada
: to me in the United States?  Does anyone know the regulations for doing
: this and has anyone had any personal experiences with this? Hopefully
: successful experiences!
: Thanks,
: Dick
: +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
: |Richard A. Murphy, PhD              Bitnet: U14663 at uicvm.bitnet    |
: |University of Illinois at Chicago   Internet: U14663 at |
: |Department of Oral Medicine         Fax: 1-312-996-1022            |
: |  and Diagnostic Sciences           Phone: 1-312-996-8630          |
: |801 S. Paulina                                                     |
: |Chicago, IL 60612                                                  |
: +-------------------------------------------------------------------+

I do this regularly for S. typhimurium cultures.  Here's what I do.

1) stab bact. into an agar slant, incubate overnight, close vial tightly 
and wrap top with parafilm, label vial.
2) wrap vial in absorbent padding (sufficient to contain all of the 
liquid if the vial were to be crushed and the agar was to become liquid)
3) enclose this all in a water tight wrapping (I use zip-lock bags)
4) place in a bubble pack envelope or mailing tube.
5) enclose a letter to the recipient stating what the culture is, the 
name and address of the person sending it, and the name and address of 
the recipient.
6) enclose a second letter addressed: To Whom It May Concern (ie: 
customs) stating that the enclosed is a sample of harmless bacteria being 
sent to the addressee as a gift, for research purposes only.
7) affix the green customs sticker to the outside of the package, stating 
that the package contains a sample of harmless bacteria, that it is of no 
commercial value, and what the weight of the package is.

The samples I send are class II organisms but not pathogenic, and this 
method complies with our local transport of dangerous goods requirements.
If your samples are pathogenic, if your transaction is not for research
purposes or if you are being charged for the samples this may not work 
for you.

Heather Lord
University of Guelph, Ontario

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