When you’re in the dairy aisle at the grocery store, do you check the expiration date on milk before you put it in your cart? The majority of people do.
When you shop for cat food, do you check the expiration date on the food before you buy it? Most people don’t.
Recently, one of our local big box pet supply stores received pallets of food past the best-by date printed on the packaging. The store employees, in a hurry to stock many shelves, didn’t check the dates and put the food on the shelves. When it was brought to their attention, they pulled the products they were told about, but they weren’t able to look through every package in the store to see if more mistakes had been made. There were still more bags of out-of-date food on their shelves.
Thankfully, there’s no scary ending to this story with a sick cat or dog because our sharp-eyed friend caught the out-of-date food, both times. But it brought up a really important issue: pet food goes from the manufacturer to the warehouse and then to the store. The date printed on packages of food is usually a year from the date of manufacture for dry food. Canned food, preserved with heat sterilization and vacuum preservation in an oxygen-free environment, has a longer shelf life than dry food, usually about two years from manufacture date. If a bag or can sits too long at either the warehouse or store, it could be past the printed sell-by date.
It’s easy to be sure that no one else missed pulling old product from the shelves. Just take a look at the date on your bags or cans when you shop and help keep your cats safe and happy.
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