But innovative packaging and the manufacturer's quality control often extend a product's stability long past the initially assigned outdate.
In many cases, these records become the data base for gaining an outdate extension.
Since the outdate had already gone from six to nine and then to 12 months, we called the manufacturer to see whether there had been a further extension.
Communication with a sales representative or supply house can also prevent substantial outdate losses.
Our laboratory once requested a six-month outdate for amylase determination kits; with a switch to micro volumes, it took much longer to use up each kit.
It's much less costly to order smaller amounts of short-dated supplies more often than to have to discard a half-empty case as the outdate approaches.