Reasons to Verify the Expired Date of Cat Food

Pet owners are understandably worried about the safety or caliber of the food they feed their four-legged family members when companies issue recalls for cat and dog food. Why is it important to check cat food expiration dates? There is debate over whether or not it is dangerous to serve pet food after its labeled expiration date.

Although "best by" or expiration dates are not legally required to be included on pet food packaging in the US, many manufacturers choose to do so in order to let retailers and customers know how long they can guarantee the quality of their goods as claimed. The duration that these wet and dry pet meals can last after the suggested "use by" dates on the label depends on a number of factors, including deterioration and packaging strength.

Nevertheless, a package of unopened cat dry or wet food does not necessarily indicate that it is dangerous just because its suggested use date has passed. Rather, you should search for a few possible issues with the contents, such as decreased nutritional value, deterioration, contamination, and preservative degradation. Here's how to spot some typical issues with past-its-best-before pet food.

Why do you check the expiration date on cat food?

1 - Quality of Nutrition

Cat Eating Food

The amount of time that a pet food manufacturer is able to ensure the nutritional contents shown on its nutritional information label is known as the product's shelf life, and it varies widely depending on the brand and kind of food (wet or dry).

Though you shouldn't rely upon products that have aged many months over their suggested "Best By" date, an older can or bag of food doesn't always indicate that it's gone bad and has significantly lost nutritional value.

Food may lose some of its nutrients due to the natural decomposition of lipids and preservatives, even if it hasn't been opened, doesn't smell bad, and shows no symptoms of contamination or spoilage. If you give your pet this kind of food, it may cause nutritional deficiencies, which, if left unchecked, might have major long-term health consequences.

2 - Pollution


While most cat food packaging is made to avoid contamination, some varieties are more susceptible to issues than others. Food stored in permeable packaging may eventually be more vulnerable to contamination from mold, insects, dampness, and other sources, especially when the material is biodegradable.

Before offering food to your pets, always make sure to check it to prevent pollutants like mold, vermin, and other things that could make the cat sick. This is still true even after the "Best By" date; however, to make sure you don't give your pet poor food, pay close attention to any warning indications like discoloration or an "off" scent.

3 - Fat and spoilage

Cats Eating

Because fat is necessary for cats, it is present in pet food; nevertheless, even in dry food, fat can go rancid over time. Naturally, a food's aroma does not always indicate its quality; in fact, a lot of pet foods, particularly wet cat food, have quite strong scents.

The product smells a little strange, though, especially if you're looking for it since it's past its suggested shelf life and you're used to a certain brand or type of food. Although canned food has a one-year shelf life from the time of production, it is unlikely to spoil after the "Best By" date.

4 - Preservative degradation

Cat Food

Although preservatives are used to keep the food for cats fresh, they can also deteriorate over time. This implies that they are no longer able to stop microbial development, mold growth, or spoiling.

While some pet meals come without preservatives, if your brand does, try to apply them within the suggested shelf life to make certain the preservatives remain effective.

In goods that contain preservatives, the "Best By" and "Use By" dates are crucial, as that's usually how a corporation determines how long its product will last on the shelf. Read This: What is the best food for stray cats?

5 - The Actual Significance of Package Dates

Cat Eating Food

Federal laws do not prohibit food markets and supermarkets from offering goods that are past their suggested "best by" date. However, most retailers do have procedures that require these products to be thrown out when their suggested shelf life is exceeded. If a batch is nearly past its "best by" date, they frequently put overstocked goods on sale.

This guideline does not apply to fresh nourishment, which is kind of a luxury item because it can have a real expiration date. However, unless otherwise stated, packaged goods like dry and canned food for pets don't really have "expiration dates" at all.

The only federal legislation that requires this kind of labeling is that when a food is not already dated, the date has to be clearly labeled with what the date means. The "Best By" date is typically posted by corporations since it indicates how long they are able to ensure the quality of their promised goods. However, it is by no means a reliable method based on science to determine if the product has become bad.

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