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Let’s talk Shelf Life and usability of Bug Check BF bacteria tests

Posted by Glen Hamrick on

A recurring question we receive from our customers has to do with determining if the Bug Check BF with an expired shelf life is still usable.

So first, a bit of background: The media in the Bug Check BF is sterile and therefore does not deteriorate due to microbial activity. That said, this does not mean that the Bug Check BF can be stored indefinitely. Over a period of many months, the growth media loses moisture and eventually dries out. The longer the test kits are stored beyond their expiration date, the more visible the moisture loss becomes: Once dried out, the media will look shrunken and will have lost its glossy, moist appearance.

We recommend you dispose of all Bug Check BF tests with an expired shelf life of two months or more, as testing results of such dipslides are no longer comparable to other tests and cannot be relied upon any longer. 

If your company or your customers require detailed testing documentation only dipslides with remaining shelf life should be used.

Let’s look at a situation where it would be ok to use Bug Check BF tests beyond its shelf life:

  • Expiration date is no older than 2 months.
  • A visual inspection of the dipslide reveals that the growth medium is glossy, has not started to dry out and no visible shrinking is present.
  • Your testing is done for your own and your company’s information only.
  • Your company’s policy allows you to perform testing without requiring detailed documentation.

More questions – just give us a call.   847-446-9986


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