What is the meaning of CelloVet's expiration dates?
We have had lots of questions recently regarding the 6 month shelf life of our products. Because our product is not shipped sterile, the expiration date is not for sterility, but expected quality of the product. As of this moment, we can only make recommendations based on our experience and our manufacturer's general guidelines. What we can tell you is the following:
- CelloVet has an approximate 6 month shelf-life based on our manufacturer's recommendations. These recommendations assume however that the cellophane is left in an ambient environment and not protected from light and humidity. In contrast, we have supplied the CelloVet cellophane in light reflective bags which are airtight and have moisture absorbent dessicant gel provided as standard to improve the expected shelf life. Please note that as of July 2018 the dessicants have been removed from all new packaging as they were thought to cause cracking in the cellophane by drawing out too much moisture.
- We have packaged the cellophane in this manner because we know that our cellophane is uncoated and made from cellulose, which like any plant material, begins to degrade if not properly stored. Furthermore, the cellophane is not shipped sterile, so as to maximize the time it is kept away from light and humidity right up until it is time for surgery. This reduces waste and costs.
- What does 'expired' cellophane look like? If improperly stored, real cellophane will discolor and become yellowed and brittle, which will make it nearly impossible to use clinically. If this occurs, please discard the cellophane.
- We have not had our stocks of CelloVet cellophane long enough to accurately determine if or when they will ever expire when kept in airtight, light reflective and humidity controlled environments.
So in short, the 6 month 'use by' date is a guideline for use based on the best information we have available at this time. We understand that many of you may be frustrated by this, but once we get more feedback from you, our clientele, then we will adjust the recommended 'use by' date accordingly. If your CelloVet exceeds the expiration date in the future, this should not preclude use unless you, the surgeon, deems it unsuitable for sterilization and application.