Corona – Should you still use expired self-tests and masks? – Cash desk espresso


Specialists advise not to use expired self-tests. With the masks, storage is also important.

What does the federal government say: Can self-tests be used beyond the expiry date without hesitation? The Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, Swissmedic, is responsible for this question. Swissmedic writes that the more time has passed since the best-before date expired, the higher the risk that the tests will no longer work optimally. So that a test shows a negative result even though someone has an acute corona infection. Swissmedic recommends no longer using expired self-tests.

What do virologists and manufacturers of self-tests say about this question? Virologist Volker Thiel, formerly in the federal corona task force and head of the virology department at the Institute for Virology and Immunology IVI, also recommends not using self-tests after the expiry date. If such a test were negative, the result would be questionable.

The SRF consumer magazine “Espresso” has also written to various manufacturers of self-tests on this question – from China to California. A Chinese and a Swiss manufacturer responded. Both agree that expired self-tests should no longer be used.

Can storing the self-tests in the refrigerator extend the shelf life beyond the expiry date? There are different theories on this question. Some experts think it doesn’t help. But there are also voices that say that storing them in the refrigerator can definitely extend the shelf life of self-tests.
The manufacturers write that it is important to store self-tests according to the package instructions. In most cases, this is at a temperature between 2 and 30 degrees. This means: do not store in the freezer or in direct sunlight.

Does a corona self-test still make sense at the moment? Two new Corona variants are currently circulating: Eris and BA.2.86. The Federal Office of Public Health BAG says on this question: Self-tests could be used as a supplement to the ones on the BAG website The basic principles mentioned in dealing with the corona virus serve as additional protection, e.g. when dealing with people who are particularly at risk.

Masks also have an expiry date. Hygiene masks usually last between one and five years. Are masks no longer equally effective after the expiry date? The Swiss manufacturer Wero Swiss writes that this question is not so easy to answer. In principle, it certainly depends on the materials used. The company writes that the correct storage of the masks probably also has a strong influence. A dry and light-protected place at five to a maximum of 35 degrees is ideal. Storing the masks in a humid place like a bathroom or a humid basement can affect filter performance or build up of bacteria or pollutants. Wero Swiss sold 130 million masks to hospitals and cantons during the pandemic and guarantees a shelf life of five years for its own hygiene masks.

source site-72