A Complete Guide to Storing and Preserving Pet Food
One of the most lucrative and appealing products to sell in the food industry is pet food. That’s because pet lovers from all over can’t get enough of spoiling their furry little friends and giving them the best, which includes serving them with fresh food and treats that they love.
As a pet food store owner, there’s nothing more important than keeping your products fresh, and that starts with knowing to properly store them. Because unlike shopping for groceries and sticking the perishables in the fridge and dry goods in the cupboards, your loyal customers’ pets need to be fed only the best. That includes healthy, clean food that’s a real treat.
There are a variety of food options for pets, and each type is stored differently to maximize shelf life, keep pets healthy, and preserve freshness and flavor. Whether your store caters to pet owners whose furry companions prefer prepackaged kibble, canned food, or even raw diets, here are some do’s and don’t’s of storing different types of pet food that goes beyond simply placing bags on the shelf:
How to Store Dry Pet Food
As a rule of thumb, you can maximize the shelf life of prepackaged kibble, canned pet food, and treats sold in your stores by storing them properly. In general, prepackaged, dry pet food should be stored in room temperature indoors to avoid selling stock that’s gone stale, or worse, rancid. A golden rule is to check the “best before” date in each batch of stocks that are delivered to your store to make sure that these are sold well before then.
Don’t: Sell Damaged Canned Food
For canned pet food, it’s essential to check your stocks once in a while to make sure that none of them have been damaged. This includes checking the cans for dents, punctures, and swelling, as these indicate that the food inside has gone bad, or worse, has been exposed to toxins. One of the most common toxins that can make its way to canned food is botulism, which is caused by bacteria that grows in moist, oxygen-free environments such as in the canning process. This can be deadly to humans and pets alike, so it’s important to keep canned food in good condition. If you think that the canned food you’re about to sell is damaged, it’s best to toss it right away; you can even wrap the can in plastic before discarding it in the trash while using plastic gloves to be extra safe. Taking these precautions ensure that your store sells only the best quality canned foods that dogs love because of their home-cooked meal quality.
Don’t: Sell Stale Treats and Kibble
Whether she’s a sweet little kitty or a strong canine companion, every pet owner likes to make their furry companion feel loved and rewarded for good behavior — and that’s what delicious treats are for!
As well with kibble, it’s important to keep these foods fresh and crunchy. When storing bags of treats and kibble, make sure that these are placed in room temperature of about 22 degrees celsius, with the bags in perfect condition. Avoiding tears and damage to the original packaging ensures freshness and quality taste that your customers’ canine companions will want to keep coming back for.
How to Store Raw Dog Food: The Healthy Pet Food Option
It may come as a surprise, but some breeds are best kept in shape with raw diets. This is because raw food is fresh and free of preservatives, making them a healthy choice for many pet owners. However, a raw diet doesn't simply mean taking raw meat out of the freezer for pets to simply chew on; you will have to take some extra precautions to ensure that the raw food stays safe and healthy in your store.
The number one enemy of raw meat is room temperature. When not properly stored in the freezer, raw meat can quickly turn rancid, making it inedible and unsafe for pets to eat. For optimal storage, it's best to store raw pet food in commercial freezers using resealable plastic bags or freezer-safe containers to remain fresh for longer. This way, raw meat can last for up to six months, provided that it's protected from freezer burn to maintain good quality and taste.
Do: Store Pet Food in Commercial Freezers
The best way to preserve the meals and treats that customers regularly pick up from your store for their pets is a refrigeration system you can trust. Don’t let your stock go bad — reap the benefits of proper food storage, preserved flavour, and maximum food freshness with a refrigeration and storage system you and your customers can trust. A commercial-grade and energy-efficient refrigerator is the key to keeping your stock fresh and pet owners happy!
In fact, top pet food manufacturers such as Big Country Raw and Pet Valu use commercial freezers that they trust — that means, high-performance, energy-efficient, and durable freezers for keeping pet food in their stores fresh for a long time. Ancaster Food Equipment refurbishes and sells commercial freezers for this very purpose. The True brand line of commercial freezers is a great option for stocking raw pet food in your store and displaying them for customers to see.
True brand commercial freezers are known for their sleek design and powerful performance. Built with triple pane thermal glass doors, a self-contained capillary tube system, and illuminated exterior sign panels, these freezers not only increase the aesthetic appeal of your store but also guarantee optimal storage of raw pet food that your customers love. With clear glass panels, customers can easily find and select the raw pet food that they need, with the meat staying completely frozen and in top quality.
Do: Sell Only the Freshest Pet Food to Customers
Unlike humans, dogs aren’t very picky when it comes to what they eat — that’s why it’s common to find strays sifting through the trash for a bite or gobbling up food left on the street. But like humans, they can get very sick when they accidentally ingest spoiled, contaminated, and mouldy food. It's a myth that dogs are immune to food poisoning. Don't hesitate to discard kibble, canned food, treats, and raw meat if you think that they have gone bad to avoid selling them in your store.
The key to preventing pet food from spoiling and going to waste is in the storage: dry food should be properly sealed and sit in room temperature, canned food should be checked for dents and holes, and raw meat should be properly stored in commercial freezers to avoid from turning rancid and remain the fresh and healthy pet food option that they are.
For more information about properly storing pet food, call Ancaster Foods on 866-711-5486 or contact us here.