How Fresh Is Pet Food?


Does “Fresh” Really Mean “Fresh” in Pet Food?

Being told the turkey was no longer fresh enough for me to eat, I put what was leftover in a few dishes and served it to our pets! I was quickly scolded by my daughter as she picked up the dishes and told me I was prohibited from serving it to our pets apparently for the same reason I could not eat the leftovers. So naturally, I got to wondering about what the labels say on both human and pet “fresh” food.  

Here is what I found on the label of fresh meat and poultry found in the supermarket: 

Keep Refrigerated or Frozen; Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods; Wash working surfaces (including cutting boards, utensils and hands after touching raw meat or poultry); Cook thoroughly, keep hot foods hot, refrigerate leftovers immediately or discard 

I then went to a local pet store, a national firm, to check the labels and see if there are any differences between the labels on “fresh” human and “fresh” pet food. There is a vast array of “fresh” food that is sold in little pouches and is labeled as follows:100% Natural, Natural Ingredients, A Dinner in a Hydrating Puree, Mousse, Stew (stick a fork in it),Wild Caught Salmon Recipe with Morsels in Gravy, Gourmet Shreds, Decadent Delight with Shrimp, Chicken Recipe Flaked in Broth, Tasty Salmon Morsels, Morsels Healthy Indulgence, Simply Shreds, Creamy Bisque with Shrimp and Coconut Milk . All sounded terrific and the labels all said “keep refrigerated” making me believe that this really was fresh food. 

But that is where the similarities stopped.  No warnings, no need to serve it in a fresh, clean bowl. Besides refrigerating, there are no cautionary terms to make me think that my pet could get sick if the food was mishandled. Nothing about touching the food or washing down the surfaces where the food is served or even the need to wash the pet’s bowl!

I realize we have come a long way from serving our pet meat and bone by-products in a dirty dish, but if companies are going to give their food fancy titles and outlandish claims, shouldn’t they remind us that when serving clean, healthy food we need to serve it in a CleanHealthy bowl?