Expired cat food

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

Lucky Boo,- Loved &- Missed

Mommy's Guardian- Angel

Purred: Tue Aug 28, '07 2:50pm PST 
Something's really bothering me. I went to the general store where I get Lucky Boo and Sindri's food today to buy them some canned and dry Wellness. Well, I didn't see any dry Wellness on the shelves so I had to buy some Premium Edge instead (it's decent; they've eaten it before so no big deal). I paid and left. As I was walking to my car, something caught my eye. It was a shelf of the Wellness cat food. At first, I thought I'd found the greatest deal ever: there were bags of Wellness cheaper than I'd ever seen them before. The six pound bags were on sale for 5 dollars, and on top of that they were buy one get one free! That's 2.50 a bag! So I picked one up then realized something was wrong with this picture. No one sells Wellness cheaper than Special Kitty, for Cat's sake! So I looked at the expiration dates, and get this: All the bags of Wellness had expired in MAY of this year! That's three months ago! So I put the bags back on the shelf and left.

So my question is this: is expired kibble harmful? Common sense tells me that yes, it is dangerous; just like processed foods for humans, cat food has to go bad at some point too. Or why else would there even BE an expiration date on the packaging? It really has me worried that this store is selling expired food. I mean, I've bought food that is close to its expiration date (like it will expire in a month) on sale there. But I've never seen food that has actually expired for sale before. I'm afraid some unsuspecting kitty owners will buy the Wellness because it's such a great deal but then it will make their kitties sick. confused

*edited for grammar

Edited by author Tue Aug 28, '07 2:53pm PST

Alix- -Rainbow- Bridge

nothing plain- about a brown- tabby!
Purred: Tue Aug 28, '07 3:14pm PST 
I'd write to the company and ask them if the food is still okay past it's expiration date.

In my opinion, no business should sell (even deeply discounted) food that is past its expiration date ...

If it's still okay for eating, the business could donate it to a local shelter or rescue group, making sure they know it's okay per the manufacturer.


I think it's- time to eat.
Purred: Wed Aug 29, '07 12:01am PST 
While I do not condone a business selling expired food, pet or human, it is possible that the food isn't physically harmful at all. Some human food expiration dates refer to the "freshness" of a product, which could simply mean that in no longer tastes quite the same as before it expired. It is even possible, although I do not know how probable, that the date refers to what ever number of days the company has tested the product for shelf life, and since it didn't test anything longer, it can't prove or guarantee that it would last longer than the expiration date. (The latter point also applies to drug companies. To many companies, especially high quality ones, expiration dates are conservative.)

Foods that certainly have expiration dates that really matter are perishable foods (meats, dairy, etc.). When these foods expire, the issue is more likely to be bacterial or fungal growth that could cause sickness. Even these, however, usually last longer than the expiration date reads, if stored properly.

In addition to writing the food company, as Alix suggested, you should bring up your concerns to the store itself. If the store is ready to sell expired food, they should also be ready answer questions that customers might have regarding the safety of their products. Most stores would appreciate honest feedback about something that may turn a customer away, especially if this is a store you shop at regularly.

Hope this helps.


Did I just hear- the treat jar- rattle?
Purred: Wed Aug 29, '07 6:00am PST 
Dry pet food is similar to dry human food. Sometimes the expiration date simply refers to the freshness of it. Pasta in a box has an expiration date, but does it really "expire" in the way we think of it? None the less the store should not be selling it. Grocery stores will not sell expired food - they donate it to shelters and food banks because it is still edible, but not sellable. Pet stores should do the same with expired cat food and dog food. It is probably still safe to eat, but is stale. They should donate it.


Treat me like- the princess I- am
Purred: Mon Sep 17, '07 3:29pm PST 
Mom went into a local grain and feed store for the first time today because she wanted us to try InnovaEvo and its the only place around that sells it. They had big clearance 50% off signs over some petfood saying they ordered too much and they need to get rid of it. The only catfood they had was PurinaPro and mom was thinking about it because it would only be about $5.50 for a big jug of it but she wondered if there was actually something wrong with it. The expiration date was July 2007. Mom didn't want to take any chances so she put it right back on the shelf. Mom figured it was probably just past its "freshness" date but you never know.