Consumer Tip: Expiration Dates for At-Home COVID-19 Tests

by Chris Bjorklund

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Now that COVID-19 is circulating again, I decided to find out if my stockpile of at-home test kits could still be used. I had almost 30 tests stashed in a drawer and many had passed the expiration dates printed on the boxes. Rather than throw them away, a friend recommended checking the Food and Drug Administration’s website for more information on whether they could be used even though they had expired.

The site is very easy to use. The manufacturers are listed in alphabetical order. Once you click the link to find out the extended expiration date for your kit, you’ll see lot numbers listed. The lot number is on the outside of the box. The charts then show you the original expiration date along with the extended date for your lot number. Some have extensions as long as a year beyond the date printed on the box! So, take a few minutes to check your tests before tossing them out. You could save yourself a lot of money—at-home test kits cost anywhere from $8 to $20, depending on where you buy them. 

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