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FDA: Face, surgical masks may still offer protection even after its expiration date

FDA: Face, surgical masks may still offer protection even after its expiration date
Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 18:58:24-05

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its guidance on face coverings on Tuesday, adding information about wearing expired surgical masks.

According to the FDA, face and surgical masks may still offer protection even if they've passed their designated shelf life or expiration date.

"If there is no date available on the face mask label or packaging, facilities should contact the manufacturer. The user should inspect all masks before use and, if there are concerns such as degraded materials (such as elastic) or visible tears," the agency recommends that you should discard the product.

However, when it comes to re-using surgical disposal masks, the CDC recommends discarding them after one use.

You can clean reusable masks, the CDC says, and recommends washing them after each use.

For N95s, which the CDC considers a one-time-use product, but can be re-worn if cleaned with an approved decontamination method.