Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does it take to analyse a sample in the laboratory?
It normally takes 10 working days to complete an analysis provided that the laboratory was informed 2 weeks in advance about the delivery of the samples and the matrix/analyte combination is known to the laboratory. Batch sizes of between 8 and 12 samples will also get priority above batch sizes of between 1 and 6 samples. See also “How to improve the Turn around time in the laboratory” on the Sample submissions page under Contact us.

2. What type of analyses can be done by the laboratory?
The FDA laboratory specializes in the analysis of small organic compounds. We make use of top of the range chromatographic equipment only. Instrumentation available include GC & LC-TOF (time of flight) MS, LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS (tandem MS). The FDA laboratory specializes in the areas of veterinary drugs, pesticides, medicated feeds and contaminants in food and feed in general.

3. What accreditation does the laboratory hold?
The laboratory holds SANAS technique accreditation as per schedule. The certificate is available on the SANAS website under T0410. SANAS (The South African National Accreditation System) is a governmental body that monitors the implementation of ISO 17025 Quality system within the laboratory.

4. Why does the laboratory not prepare composite samples?
The preparation of composite samples takes time, care and consideration on the part of the owner of the samples. The laboratory does not take responsibility for the sampling procedure that may have an influence on the final results of an analysis.

5. Who can clients contact to obtain information regarding analysis?
For Sample submissions: reception@fdalab.co.za
For account, price structure and formal quotations: accounts@fdalab.co.za
For Technical information and price structure: azel@fdalab.co.za
The Laboratory work schedule for the completion of samples can be obtained from any on of these contact email addresses.

6. What is the BBBEE status of the laboratory?
Contact accounts@fdalab.co.za for the most recent certificate / letter.

7. What process is available for lodging complaints?
As part of ISO17025 a complaint process is available. It is seen as constructive in the sense that it improves the service to the client. For the Laboratory to understand a complaint and act on it, it must be submitted in writing to the Quality Manager or any member of Management at quality@fdalab.co.za, labman@fdalab.co.za, reception@fdalab.co.za and accounts@fdalab.co.za .

8. Why does a sample submission form have to be completed for each matrix/analyte?
In order for the laboratory to ensure fast turn around time, each requested method should be on a separate submission form. The sample submission form may not be altered by FDA staff members unless the client has sent an email with instructions to do so. This is to prevent any misunderstandings that may arise due to changes on the forms. Separate test certificates are released for different analyses as they become available and by separating it on the sample submission form completed certificates will not be delayed by outstanding results as it will be released on its own certificate on completion. Results are withheld until all work requested on the sample submission form is completed.

9. Why is the LIMS administrator not authorized to send reports to an email address that is not indicated on the sample submission form?
Confidentiality of the results obtained by the laboratory is an ISO17025 requirement. It is therefore the policy of the laboratory that reports may only be sent to the email addresses indicated on the sample submission form. This serves as authorization on the part of the client to whom the results may be released. Be sure to indicate all email addresses on the sample submission form.

10. Does the FDA laboratory keep samples for collection by the client after analysis?
The FDA policy is to keep samples for a month where after it is destroyed. If you request that a sample be returned it has to be collected from the laboratory within a month after you received the report. Thereafter it will be destroyed. The laboratory does not have the facility to keep samples indefinitely.