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Author Topic: Pet Food Storage  (Read 8936 times)
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JanC
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« on: September 19, 2007, 06:05:20 AM »

This may be a bit off topic but I thought I'd throw it in anyway.  It's something I didn't know....oops.

I just read that when you store dry food, you always store it in the original bag.  Never dump it into a plastic container......not only did I always do that but just about all my friends do the same.  This article said you can store it in a plastic container but keep it in the original bag.  Storing it in a plastic container breeds bacteria.

If anyone questions this, I'll go looking for where I read it......don't know about you but I'm always off doing research & reading on tons of websites.  I may be able to find it & reference it because it was very recently that I read this. Tongue
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JustMe
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 06:39:07 AM »

Jan,

Could it be this you saw?

If possible, store dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, dedicated plastic container with a lid, keeping the top of the bag folded closed.

http://www.fda.gov/cvm/foodbornetips.htm

I keep their dry food in the original bags and due to the volume of food we use and store, I bought plastic, lidded trash containers, aired them out for a few weeks to remove any plastic odor, and store them in their bags.  I've had concerns about the plastic trash containers, but don't know how else to store multiple 30 pound bags of food plus treats.  I keep them in my finished basement on linoleum flooring.
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catbird
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2007, 08:39:45 AM »

I also did it wrong until I had a problem last week with a dry cat food apparently starting to go bad only 10 days after opening.  I now keep smaller amounts (a couple of days' worth) in a plastic container in the refrigerator for convenience (thanks to another Itchmovian for the refrigerator idea), and store the rest according to the recommendations above, in the original bag inside another container, also in my basement where it is cool.  Since my cat food bags are smaller, they can be put inside the biggest tupperware containers, which is what I now do.

I wish more of the companies would put the dry food in the bags with the zipper closures, because that sure makes life easier.  Might be a little difficult with 40 lb. bags of dog food, though.

Too bad the pet food companies don't put storage directions on the bags.  Oh, well, par for the course with them.  We always end up smarter than they are.
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JustMe
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2007, 08:48:31 AM »

I like the zipper feature, too.  CORE has zippers (press together) on the 26 pound bags.
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Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
Poem for Cats, author unknown

"A kitten in the animal kingdom is like a rosebud in a garden", author unknown
Laurie
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2007, 09:27:04 AM »

    I wonder why those companies that have the bags with the zipper closures do not do the same for the larger sized bags? I buy the big bags of Wellness cat food because it is more economical. It is made of paper and has a foil like linning. The bag ends up in pretty bad shape after a couple of months of use.
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catwoods
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 11:10:05 AM »

I keep the dry food in the original bags and place the 10 pound bag inside one of those old-fashioned tins that popcorn comes in. Every Christmas you can find these everywhere and often they are relatively inexpensive. I find this keeps the food very fresh. I would not, however, discard the bag and place the food directly in the tin because although we can presume they are food safe, you never know these days. Also any kibble I find on the bottom of the tin that has accidentally fallen out does seem to be stale. I don't see any indication of country of manufacture on the tins I presently have, but some could be made in China. Unfortunately I don't know of any tin large enough to hold a bag bigger than 10 pounds.
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carolo
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 01:04:00 PM »

Jan,

Could it be this you saw?

If possible, store dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, dedicated plastic container with a lid, keeping the top of the bag folded closed.

http://www.fda.gov/cvm/foodbornetips.htm

I keep their dry food in the original bags and due to the volume of food we use and store, I bought plastic, lidded trash containers, aired them out for a few weeks to remove any plastic odor, and store them in their bags.  I've had concerns about the plastic trash containers, but don't know how else to store multiple 30 pound bags of food plus treats.  I keep them in my finished basement on linoleum flooring.

This is an interesting and important topic.  Thx for the FDA link.  (not that they're the real experts on everything regarding pet food, lol!  more here on these boards than there, jmho)  Just one small dog now instead of the 5 or so we always used to have, so we don't go thru a bag of food every week or sooner like we used to, making how we store more important than ever. 

I confess that even 'tho my new current bag/s of dog kibble come in plastic zip-type bags, I find pouring some to use daily into a RubberMaid container to be the easiest access w/out exposing the rest of the bag to air ea mealtime.  The RubberMaid container seems to seal tightly.  It's washed before first use, aired out for at least 24 hrs, and that is repeated before refilling.  If this is not a safe practice, I don't want to continue doing it.  Why would a plastic zip bag be that different from the sealed RubberMaid container w/ the pour spout?  The current container holds several weeks of kibble for my one small dog.  Not much spare space in the fridge, but should I keep it there?  House temp usually runs between 62 (winter nights) and 76 (some summer days.)  No problems so far that I know of, but no sense leaving food safety to chance.

We do not have a spot in this house for easy mealtime access that would hold the entire bag of dog food.  Open to hearing all suggestions.  I could take up 7 days of food into 7 zip lock baggies to store in fridge if that would be better.  Except for summer we leave the original zipper bags w/ zip closed in a metal can in the garage.  On rare occasions we find ourselves w/ an open bag of food stored that way for several months.  Bad practices?
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kaffe
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 01:39:31 PM »

I do not use kibble very much, so when I do buy some to use as kitty-treats, I have always poured about 3/4 of the bag into a plastic sealed container to be stored in the fridge.  So this practice is not safe?  Ay-yay-yay.  There's a round sealed plastic container 1/3 full of Serrengetti right now in the fridge.  Got to go now and find something else to store it in.  Oh wait!  I always line te plastic container with reynold's aluminum before pouring.  Will that be good enough?
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catbird
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2007, 01:45:35 PM »

I feel confident keeping a few days' worth of dry cat food in a plastic container in the refrigerator.  I wash the container in the dishwasher and let it dry thoroughly before refilling.  I think this is a perfectly safe practice.  What I changed was to keep less in my kitchen and refrigerate what I do keep there.  I see no problem with putting it in a plastic container for a few days--most of us do that with our own food!

Maybe the FDA thinks we don't wash out our containers, and they think the bag is cleaner.
The main reason I can see to keep it in the original bag is so that you know what lot it was and have proof if anything goes wrong, and that is why I am doing it that way.

I wonder if maybe some dry foods are more susceptible to going bad than others.  I had never had it happen before until last week, and this was a comparatively new brand for me.  I don't know if that is because of the ingredients themselves (maybe more fats, fewer preserving elements like rosemary and vit E) or that some are more contaminated with bacteria already. Sad
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JanC
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2007, 05:56:59 AM »

I am going to try to find the original article that I got this info from....it was not the FDA site but I can't remember where I found it.  I'll make it a point to try to find it.

I have always poured the bag into an airtight bin that I bought at a pet food store & that was it.  The article I read said you should never remove dry pet food from the original bag.  If you do use a plastic container, to make sure the original bag is closed & store the whole thing in the container.

As soon as I find the article, I will post it here.

Only mentioned it because I was definitely storing it improperly & when I asked a few friends, every single one of them stored the food in plastic & threw out the bag.

I keep all her treats in the fridge because I don't go through them very fast but I have no clue if keeping dry food in plastic in the fridge would make a difference.  I didn't see any info on that. Huh

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dingbat
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2007, 04:34:53 PM »

We have Food grade plastic buckets that we have been using for years. With the pack that we have the food isn't in there long enough to go bad. Maybe it is the type of plastic bucket too, ours has a screw on lid and stays airtight.

db
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JJ
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2007, 05:30:02 PM »

As far as the  original bags the food is in - what type of chemicals do the bags leach out into the food? A friend of mine has ms and she knows all about the chemicals in pkgs of food, etc. Cereal plastic leaches into the food constantly so best to take it out and store it in a glass container with a screw on lid.

Now when I did buy kibble I purchased four 1 gallon glass jars from wally world last november (before they showed their true colors as a store) and this will hold 15 lbs of dry food the size of the Karma kibble. The jars can be washed and the lids screw on for air-tight seal with no plastic whatsoever. In case anyone wants another way to store their kibble you could use glass instead of plastic cause you do not know what chemicals leach out of the plastic you might be using.
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onlooker
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2007, 06:00:51 AM »

I also remember reading somewhere about storing kibble in its bag.   However, unless you buy the small bags or use a couple of fridges, it may be difficult. 

 I also store the kibble in a glass container in the fridge as it is too warm & humid in our area to keep it out especially during the summer.    The food will get buggy here.   If your temperatures are in the 60-70's, the food should stay fresh in the original bag as long as it does not lay around for long periods.   


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Scratch
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2007, 06:28:35 AM »

Sometimes I put the food in a food grade container without the bag.  I always save the bag somewhere because it has all the information and lot #s on it.  More often I put the bag and all in the container and chip clip the bag inside the container.
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catbird
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2007, 07:21:21 AM »

JJ, thanks for the glass jar idea.  Although I am using a food grade plastic container for the small amount of dry cat food that I am keeping upstairs in the refrigerator, a glass canning jar sounds even better.  Glass canning jars are where I store all the rice, dried beans, flours, etc. that I eat--makes sense that it would work for kibble, too!

A couple of side notes:

Out of curiousity, I retrieved a large plastic container that was given away by Iams as a promotional item several years ago.  (I had stashed it away and had not used it in a long time.)  Lo and behold, the instructions on that container did say to put the bag inside the container!  I wonder if that means that the plastic is not food-grade?

At a locally-run animal supply warehouse this weekend, various sizes of large plastic bins on wheels had suddenly appeared.  The pictures with these containers showed the pet food poured directly in the bin, not inside the bag.

I still wonder about the materials leaching from the bags, and especially those wet-food pouches.

I also wonder why the FDA, who most of the time doesn't seem to care about anything except CYA, put out recommendations about storage and handling of pet food.  I wonder if there is not some ulterior motive, another "dark secret".

I sure wish my cats would eat home-prepared food...
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