Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health

Packaging an Infectious Substance
for Shipping Refrigerated or Frozen

Packaging an infectious substance (not more than 50 ml or 50 grams per package) for shipping refrigerated or frozen.


  • Use an insulated UN 6.2 certified shipper.
insulated shipper
  • The shipper, which includes the inner container and the outer shipper, is certified as a unit and must be used together. Do not “mix and match” UN certified containers. The cardboard divider holds the inner container in place. Gel packs or dry ice may be added to the empty space.
inner container with shipper
  • When a specimen container is sealed with a screw cap, wrap the cap with tape to help ensure a leak proof container.
screw top specimen container
  • Wrap the specimen container in the bubble wrap.
  • Add an absorbent disk to the UN 6.2 certified inner leak-proof container.
absorbent disk to container
  • Place the wrapped specimen into an inner container. Screw the cap on tight. Do not place dry ice inside the inner container.
wrapped specimen into container
  • Place the inner container in the divider inside the shipper. Place the coolant (dry ice or gel or ice packs) in the empty space formed by the divider.

    If shipping refrigerated, add enough gel or ice packs to fill the empty space.

    If shipping frozen, add enough dry ice to fill the empty space. The dry ice needs to be weighed and the weight placed on the dry ice label.

packed shipped container
  • Place an itemized list of the contents in a plastic bag and place between the inner container and the divider.
  • Close the box according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Be sure to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your shipping system for any other specific packaging requirements.


(Note: Use of any product in this document does not constitute an endorsement by the South Dakota Department of Health or the National Laboratory Training Network.)

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