<%@LANGUAGE="JavaScript1.3"%> Swine Health Management - Medicine  

Medicine Storage Refrigerator Set-Up

The fridge stores a vast amount of the unit's medicines and if the fridge is not properly maintained vaccine programs may be ineffective.

Daily checking Proper running temperature
Fridge temperature "zones" Which medicines are refrigerated?
What medicines don't
go in the fridge?
On farm example
Maintenance Medicine Storage
Check Sheet

Daily checking:

  • The fridge should have a maximum/minute thermometer inside.


Proper running temperature?

  • The fridge should run at 2 to 8 degrees C. If it fails to maintain this temperature, then change the settings, check the insulation, and door closure policy. If the fridge persistently fails to maintain the temperature, then it will need replacing.


Where is the fridge between 2 and 8oC ?

  • Ice box fridges, commonly used on farms, have several zones of different temperatures.


  • Note:  At the back of the fridge, cold air from the freezer compartment falls and vaccines placed right against the back can freeze and become inactivated. To prevent this, place a small flat piece of polystyrene against the back of the inside of the fridge


Which medicines go into the fridge?

  • Any medicine which states store between 2 and 8 degrees C or keep cool.

    For example:
  1. All vaccines
  2. Hormones i.e. oxytocin PG600
  3. Iron
  4. Part used bottles


What does not go into the fridge?

  • Food products. These can contaminate medicines and could spread serious diseases, for instance Swine Fever.
  • Dirty bottles. Ensure all bottles are clean before being returned to the fridge.
  • Needles and syringes do not need to be stored in the fridge.


An on farm example:


  • In this example, the ice-box freezer compartment door has broken off and the fridge could do with a good clean. This fridge operated between -3 to +5 degrees C. All the time the fridge was below freezing the vaccines were being destroyed. Despite vaccination, the unit had just experienced an episode of erysipelas!
  • The fridge contains new bottles of antibiotics and other medicines which should be stored in a medicine cupboard in the dark below +25 degrees C.
  • The fridge is also overstocked for a 200 sow unit.



  • Do not overstock your fridge. Overstocking results in poor air circulation and leads to pockets of warmer air.
  • Defrost the fridge every 3 months or if ice begins to build up. Ice build up stops the fridge working well and uses more energy, so the fridge costs more to run.
  • Keep the fridge door closed as much as possible. Opening the fridge door warms up the air inside the fridge.



Medicine Storage Check Sheet (Microsoft Word document)