Tips from Petful on unsafe food

We post each recall Dave sends on our recall page or you can subscribe to them.


It’s Dave again from Petful. I’m continuing to monitor pet food recalls and will let you know when one happens. Today, I want to share some important pet food safety tips. Follow the tips below, and you’ll greatly reduce the chance that you ever feed unsafe food to your pet.

What I’ve Realized

Over the past few months, I’ve come to realize that dry pet food is not ideal. A bag of kibble can have bacterial growth, mold problems, fats going rancid, mite infestations … not to mention most dry pet foods are lacking in nutrients because of the rendering and processing.  Even canned pet food has its problems. Many of these canned pet foods have harmful added chemicals and preservatives, BPA-lined cans and mold problems … and they’ve all been subjected to extreme processing.

You might be tired of me bringing up The Farmer’s Dog, but I really do think it’s a terrific dog food because it’s real, freshly cooked food — the sort of high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet that has been shown to add YEARS to a pet’s lifespan. Here’s the link to my review:

And for cats, I’m really liking NomNomNow. It, too, is made with the freshest, restaurant-quality ingredients. Veterinarian formulated, which means better food, better health. Learn more here:

Now, let’s get to those safety tips.

Safety begins with proper storage, because as soon as you first open a bag of dry pet food, important dietary fats in the food will already start to turn rancid. In addition, if the food is contaminated (for example, with nasty salmonella), you don’t want to spread that to your family. So, to avoid sickening your pet (or yourself), follow these important tips:


  • Buy only one bag at the time.
  • Make sure there are no tears in the bag.
  • Check that the expiration date isn’t near or passed.
  • Store in the original bag, sealed, at room temperature — not outside or in a hot garage, and not in direct sunlight.
  • If you want to use a container, use a clean metal tin or can, but keep the food in the original pet food bag within this metal container.
  • Limit the amount of time the food is exposed to air.
  • Do not mix in new food with the old.


  • Make sure there are no dents in the cans.
  • Check that the expiration date hasn’t passed.
  • If there is a lot of dust on top of the can, that is another sign it is too old.
  • Store unopened cans at room temperature. Do not freeze.
  • Store opened cans in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, covering with a plastic can lid or with plastic wrap tightened with a rubber band.
  • When you remove canned food to feed your pet, be careful not to scrape the sides of the can.


  • Store in secure packaging, such as a sturdy covered plastic container or zippered freezer bags, in the freezer or refrigerator. The temperature should never be above 40 F.
  • Refrigerate leftovers immediately. These should keep for 2 days.
  • Power outage? Discard the meat, even if it smells and looks OK.
  • Wash hands, tools and surfaces after any contact with raw meat. Use hot soapy water.


  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3–5 days.
  • For long-term storage, place containers in the freezer. (Thaw in the fridge overnight before feeding.)
  • Wash empty containers with hot soapy water.


  • Do not store/prepare the pet food (or feed your pet) in the kitchen. This is especially important for households with young children.
  • Wash your hands after touching any pet food materials, including treats.
  • Discard uneaten food in your pet’s bowl after 4 hours.
  • Wash the food and water bowls daily with hot soapy water.

Until next time, friend,


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