WASHINGTON — If you're planning on using an at-home COVID test, one thing to always consider is the expiration dates. Experts warn that tests used after the expiration date may not provide you with accurate results.
But how exactly can you find the expiration dates for FDA-approved at-home testing kits? And is the shelf life the same for different brands of tests?
Luckily, the FDA's online page about at-home testing kits now has you covered, and includes where to find the exact expiration date for every kit approved by the U.S. government.
Product websites and instruction sheets will all tell you not to use a test after its expiration date, but depending on the test, that might not be the date listed on the package any more.
That's because some test kits' initial shelf life has been extended, which means your test could have a few extra weeks or more than the indicated date on the box.
As an FDA spokesperson explained to the VERIFY team: “Since stability testing necessarily takes time, the FDA works with manufacturers to extend the expiration date of their COVID-19 tests as additional supportive stability data becomes available."
As of April 28, the following brands have been given an extended shelf life, which you means you should look up the new expiration dates by clicking on this link:
If your test kit's expiration date changed but it's still past the new date: don't use it. Certain components in tests may degrade over time, which could mean they don’t work as well.