How Royal Mail strikes could affect salmonella samples

07 October 2022

A picture of a flock of hens with one looking at the camera

With Royal Mail strikes set to take place in September and October, make sure your salmonella samples arrive on time.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has called on its members who collect, sort and deliver parcels and mail to take further strike action on 19 dates between now and December.

The Royal Mail has contingency plans in place but is warning of potential disruption to delivery services. You can read more about the planned industrial action, including a complete list of strike dates at: Royal Mail | Latest news

Consider using alternative delivery methods

We're urging members to take appropriate contingency measures to ensure that time sensitive items such as salmonella samples reach their destination on time.

For egg producers, the National Control Plan for salmonella includes a legal requirement that samples must reach the laboratory within four days of the sample being taken. It is the poultry producer’s responsibility to ensure that the samples arrive within that timeframe.

Poultry producers should consider using alternative delivery methods or courier services to guarantee their salmonella samples arrive at the laboratory in time.

Advice from Royal Mail

Royal Mail will be prioritising delivery of Special Delivery and Tracked 24 items during industrial action and have issued the following guidance:

Special Delivery Guaranteed:

“We will continue to accept, prioritise and deliver as many Special Delivery items as our resources allow during strike action. However, we cannot guarantee delivery of all items by 9am or 1pm next day. We will therefore suspend the next day guarantee for items sent the day before, during strike action and until our services are back to normal. Customers will not be able to claim compensation for items which are delayed during this period.”

Tracked 24 (including COVID test kits and medical prescription items):

“Tracked 24 items will be treated as a priority for delivery on days when strike action is taking place. However, significantly reduced resources mean there will be a delay to some Tracked 24 items posted the day before, on the day of and in the days immediately after strike action.”


“You can continue to use postboxes throughout industrial action. Please bear in mind collections from post boxes will be limited on days of industrial action and delay to items should be expected.”

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