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Home > FAQs > Do urine samples go bad

Can a urine sample go bad?

The short answer is yes, human urine contains bacteria, and as such a urine sample will go bad if stored too long.

How long before a urine sample goes bad?

Ideally, samples should not be kept for longer than twenty-four hours after being taken, or they will start to build up high levels of bacteria and go bad.

It is advised to keep a urine sample in a sterile, screw top, sealed container and place in a fridge at around 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Furthermore, it is also advised to take the urine sample mid stream when you urinate, which means avoiding the start and end of the urination, which will help to reduce the bacteria present in the sample and help it to store.

Does synthetic urine go bad?

Synthetic urine samples can go bad after some time, however the sample will also last much longer in the fridge than a human sample will, as it will not have the same bacterial loading to start with. If you wish to keep samples longer, it is suggested that you use a synthetic concentrated sample that will last many months in concentrated form.

Video transcript:

Do urine samples go bad? Yes they do human urine samples go bad pretty quick depending on what you eat. I mean a good example would be, is if you eat a lot of asparagus it'll produce an enzyme that'll cause a premature breakdown and you'll get a horrific smell coming from the urine that's a sign that it's going bad. It doesn't mean it's bad because if you eat asparagus and give a sample bingo you know it automatically even though it's fresh it'll smell like it's old but that that makes labs really question it so you want to be careful with that. Labs do not go around smelling pee but if it basically fills the room full of a stink then they know something's going on

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References https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/infections/how-should-i-collect-and-store-a-urine-sample/ 

Last update: 23.05.2022