The recent thriving development of biobanks and associated high-throughput phenotyping studies requires the elaboration of large-scale approaches for monitoring biological sample quality and compliance with standard protocols. We present a metabolomic investigation of human blood samples that delineates pitfalls and guidelines for the collection, storage and handling procedures for serum and plasma. A series of eight pre-processing technical parameters is systematically investigated along variable ranges commonly encountered across clinical studies. While metabolic fingerprints, as assessed by nuclear magnetic resonance, are not significantly affected by altered centrifugation parameters or delays between sample pre-processing (blood centrifugation) and storage, our metabolomic investigation highlights that both the delay and storage temperature between blood draw and centrifugation are the primary parameters impacting serum and plasma metabolic profiles. Storing the blood drawn at 4 °C is shown to be a reliable routine to confine variability associated with idle time prior to sample pre-processing. Based on their fine sensitivity to pre-analytical parameters and protocol variations, metabolic fingerprints could be exploited as valuable ways to determine compliance with standard procedures and quality assessment of blood samples within large multi-omic clinical and translational cohort studies.