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Refrigeration of Antibiotics & Medications

Refrigeration of Antibiotics & Medications

Antibiotics, medications and vaccines must be kept within a very narrow temperature range to maintain viability. Many veterinary clinics have been storing these products in ordinary fridges and some in small bar type fridges that have very inaccurate temperature controls.

During certain seasons, many clinics carry large volumes of these products and we have had several large losses when these ordinary fridges do not keep product within the required temperature range.


1. Use Laboratory Grade Refrigerators and Freezers

  • Used for storing biological specimens (-5°C – 12°C)
  • Can be found in both upright and under counter units
  • Don’t rely on ordinary fridges and especially not small bar fridges with valuable stock

2. Install Monitored Refrigerator and Freezer Alarms

  • Can be programmed to sound an alarm in the event of a temperature increase/decrease or in the event of a power failure
  • Systems can monitor multiple fridges/freezers or groups of fridges/freezers.

3. Back-Up Generators

  • In the event of a power outage the Back-Up Generator will instantly switch to back up unit in the wall and will turn off once power returns.
  • Small enough to fit in any room, plug fridge into unit then plug the unit into the wall outlet.

4. Distribution of Risk

  • If possible spread any antibiotics across multiple fridges/freezers, in the case something happens to one fridge, not all the product will be lost.
  • Prepare a contingency plan should any refrigeration unit give out. Make an agreement with another veterinary clinic or another business close by (Very limited time to get stock to another refrigerator).

For more information on refrigeration strategies, please contact one of our risk management professionals. While risk management strategies can reduce your chances for loss, in the event of a loss it is important to ensure your business has the right level of insurance coverage.