How long do sealed and open packs keep? And what is the right way to store them? We tell in this article.
Shelf life of unopened packaging
All dry food is legally labeled with information about storage conditions, expiration date, batch number, and date of manufacture.
- Best before date
It varies from 12 to 24 months, but for natural foods without E-preservatives, it is usually relatively small: within one year.
- Storage temperature
A fairly wide range is allowed: from 0 to 25 degrees. At the same time, it is important that the temperature is constant, without sudden changes. A change of 5-10 degrees has a bad effect on the safety of the feed. Is it possible to store food in the refrigerator? .. Formally — yes: 2-4 degrees of heat fit into the acceptable range. However, the food becomes damp in the refrigerator.
- Shelf life of opened packaging
“How long can you keep an opened package of dry food?” is a popular question. We answer: subject to the storage rules, as much as a closed pack. If the expiration date is 12 months, then during this time the pet must eat all the food from the open bag. It happens that over time the smell of food becomes less saturated. Usually people do not notice this, but the noses of animals catch it. If the cat is a gourmet (and fluffies are usually picky), by the end of a large package, he may eat worse food. The way out is to close the bag tightly or buy small packs.
- away from heating
Batteries, heaters and hot pipes dry out already dry food. And if it stands where it is humid and warm, “life” can start in it and the food will deteriorate. The kitchen is also not the most suitable place: the stove works there, it can be hot. Storage room and corridor is preferable.
- Away from the sun
Getting on the bag, direct sunlight heats it and starts a chemical reaction. Heating and temperature differences, when the sun fries during the day and not at night, lead to a change in the composition, the destruction of vitamins. The food loses color, and the granules crumble badly.
- in a dry place
Dry granules «do not like» dampness: this is a suitable environment for the spread of mold. Most often, it appears at the bottom of the bag, so it is not easy to notice it. Molds produce toxic substances, so if you spot mold, discard the entire bag. It may seem that some of the food is good, but, in fact, it is already infested with fungi. The ideal air humidity for food storage is 65%.
- In a tightly closed bag or container
Food can be stored in its original packaging or in a container, jar. The main thing is to tightly close the lid or bag. Because when the air comes into contact with the granules, they oxidize: they change color and structure, and a rancid smell appears. The contents of a small pack can be poured immediately, for example, into a plastic container, glass or iron jar. If there is no lock on a large bag, use clothespins or paper clips: twist the bag, and then fasten it. As the feed is consumed, trim the edges of the bag — it’s more convenient.
How to understand that something is wrong with the food
- There was a rancid, damp, musty smell
- The color of the granules has changed: they have become noticeably lighter or darker
- The granules began to crumble
- Cracks appeared on the granules
- Granules become wet, slippery or sticky
- Cobwebs, larvae or worms appeared
In such cases, it is impossible to give food to a pet: it is spoiled. So, how to store food so that it does not deteriorate ahead of time:
- in a dry place
- at a temperature not higher than +25
- not in the sun and not near the battery
- not on the balcony and not in the kitchen
- in a tightly sealed bag