Meter Reading Errors - Very Important

We made a huge mistake after almost 5 years of diabetes testing. David had a few meter kits that he preferred that only hold small 25 strip containers. Over the past twelve months we had to change from a BD Link to a Bayer Contour Link so that his meter would continue to talk to his pump after finding that BD strips are becoming impossible to find.

On making the meter change, David was not prepared to make the kit change. The container for number of strips with Bayer is larger to accomodate 50 of 100 strips. The new meter kit is 2 x`s the size that he was comfortable with. The CONSEQUENCE - OUR ERROR - we started tranferring strips from new Contour containers to old BD containers. A few weeks ago, David started to get a lot of weird meter reading feedback. Exceptional lows that were not backed up by how he felt together with exceptional highs. We called the Bayer help line and after going through a series of telephone diagnostics were assured that the meter is responding correctly, but the strips are compromised. The old containers have expired, after months of re-use, we were basically throwing new strips on the counter and picking them up for later use by re-using the small containers. We were getting a reading, but a totally unreliable reading.

It turns out that it is not simply expiring strips, but expiring containers for strips that one needs to be concerned about. BE CAREFUL, I DO remember reading way back when not to move strips from one container to another, but without explanation in the literature, who would guess why.


i do not use Bayer strips, but one thing that happens when you transfer strips, is that the code, has to be consistent from container to container. I know that if the code is off the reading is off and i have this seeming need to make two smaller bottles into one. It seems silly thatin 2009 we are still messing with bad manufacturing issues, that cause coding to be accepted. I do knwo if you want ot mess up big time mix the codes, if you do you might as well that bottle away.

rick phillips

I am so confused over this. Are you saying that the old containers were contaminating the strips? or that simply the contamination occurred from strips’ placement on the counter?

Yup, I noticed that too! Was wondering if I was just lucky and got 200 of the same code? haha.

Sorry Sophie, The container itself has a limited useful time frame and if you re-use a strip container it will eventually expire and no longer protect your test strips. So the lesson we learned - don’t re-use strip containers.

The nice thing about the Bayer strips in reply to Rick above is that they do not require coding. Great for use by a teen as he no longer has to worry about re-coding when he opens a new box of strips.



The Bayer meter requires no coding, or no manual coding? My Accu-Chek strips come with a coding chip that has to be changed with new boxes of strips. More waste.

Not to be the annoying questioning voice… but I really am very curious about this! What is it about the strips that needs to be “protected” by a certain container. I use One Touch Ultra test strips and the containers seem to be just normal hard plastic…but I am very intrigued if they have some extra protective purpose…? I have never heard of such a thing.

There’s preservative added to the container to protect the strips. I guess different companies use different preservatives, so putting one brand in another company’s container effects the strips.

It seems to be a bit more than that. The brand of the container was not the issue, it was the length of time that we re-used one of the smaller containers. If you look at the inside of your strip container, you will notice that it has an interior wall that is built up and thicker than the outside wall of the container. There is a protective coating between the outside and the inside wall.

If you leave a container of strips, uncapped, you shorten the life span of the strips. If you leave a container uncapped all day you can be left with strips that work. i.e. They give a reading, but the reading may be unreliable. The same goes with re-using a container. Re-using the smaller, container was fine for about 8 months, but the container eventually expired affecting the reliability of the test strips.

OH and as for coding. No coding at all on the Bayer Link meter.


No coding at all is an impovement!

It was drummed into me to never leave the container uncapped so I close it immediately after removing a strip. Delicate things those strips.

…delicate and expensive…

So I use One Touch Ultra test strips. In each box are 2 containers. In each container are 25 strips. Whenever I open a new box I consolidate the total 50 strips into one of those two containers and throw the other one away. What do you think about this?

Way too expensive!

I have very small fingers!

Hahaha! me too! I was like no way! I got 300 with all the same code! No blue ones yet…

Sophie, I do the same thing and I’ve not had a problem with it. I too have very small fingers!

For the short time frame that it takes most users to go through 100 strips, the method that Sophie and Elizabeth are using will work just fine as long as you are not keeping the same strip container in use for several months.

It is when the same strip container has been used over and over again, while new containers are being discarded that it becomes a problem. If you look at the info sheet that comes with the strips, one of the early warnings on the sheet is not to transfer strips from one container to another.

Singapore’s lifescan page on test strip storage actually provides some insight. Humidity and light are the culprits that will damage test strips.