I recently just joined this site when I started researching Event Related Sterility (ERS) procedures. I work as a packaging engineer at a major medical device company who makes implants and instruments, and was suprised in the different viewpoints we have for event-based sterility (ERS) and packaging.
Any sterile product we sell contains an expiration date, and the date is supported by actual test data, including simulated distrubution, environmental conditioning, and accelerated ageing, and also real-time ageing tests. This is required by FDA, at least for the class of products we produce (Class II / Class III). The testing provides high assurance that the product will be sterile until the expiration date. Class I products like tounge depressors may not have the same requirments, but I cannot speak to this.
While I acknowledge there is nothing magical that happens to the sterile barrier system the day after it expires, the fact is that there is no more data to support a longer shelf life. I do not think ERS is a bad idea, but I dont think it should supersede a manufacturer's claim...
I would review AORN guidance and see if they reccomend "over-riding" the manufacture provided expiration dates. That does not sounds like a good idea IMHO.