Safe Storage and Handling Practices – Part 2

Proper Refrigerator Organization

Ensuring your refrigerator is properly organized can make all the difference in maintaining an efficient cold chain supply solution. The following pointers are some important and helpful tips in order to ensure safe handling practices for vaccine program and biomedical/pharmaceutical settings.

  • Vaccines should be away from the refrigerator walls, floors and cold-air vents. If vaccines are kept against refrigerator walls, floors and cold air vents it increases the risk of exposing vaccines to temperatures below +2C.
  • Vaccine packages should always have a little space between them to allow for air circulation. Avoid tightly packing and stacking the packages.
  • Organize vaccines by products. Place vaccines of the same type together.
  • Check vaccine expiry dates regularly and after every vaccine order. Remember whatever has come in first should always be the first to go. Remember the acronym FIFO *(First In First Out).
  • Vaccine expiry dates should always be checked before use. If expired, return them right away to vaccine supply source.
  • Vaccine refrigerators must always and only be dedicated for the storage of vaccines. Food, beverages or other none medical related products should not be stored in vaccine storage units because this practice results in frequent door openings and destabilization of the temperature.
  • In instances when the refrigerator is storing very few vaccine packages, place a few full water bottles through out the unit which helps maintain an even, stable temperature.

Most importantly,

  • VACCINES SHOULD NEVER BE STORED IN THE DOOR OF THE REFRIGERATOR.
  • VACCINES SHOULD BE STORED IN THE REFRIGERATOR IN ITS ORIGINAL PACKAGING.