What is the shelf life of a diet?
Purified ingredient diets are perishable; they do not contain any preservatives unless clearly stated in the formula. They should be stored in a cool, dry place. Refrigeration at 4oC (40oF) or lower is recommended; generally, diets can be stored this way for up to six months. Most diets can be preserved even longer by freezing, sometimes form a year or more; however, use of diets beyond six months will be subject to the protocols of your lab. Grain-based diets will have a shelf life of varying lengths depending upon their composition. Generally, they will keep in cool dry storage for about the same length of time as for the comparable LabDiet® product, about six months. Please inquire about the specific shelf life of any custom grain-based diet. Gamma irradiation can be used to destroy bacteria and mold spores, primarily for use of diets in barrier facilities. It also has the effect of reducing sources of spoiling, particularly in grain-based diets.