Insects Want In: Steps to Prevent Infestation, from Ingredient to Bowl

As summer brings warmer temperatures, the change in season can also result in more ants and other insects entering the household and an increased risk for insect infestation of open packages of pet food and treats. Preventing bug infestation during the manufacturing process is one of the quality factors PFI members control. Pet lovers can also take steps to keep their dog’s and cat’s food and treats free from insects, at the place of purchase and at home. PFI’s infographic and the information below provide ways to avoid the potential for unwanted pests in your pet’s food. 

Safety Assurances during Manufacturing and in Transit 

The manufacturing facilities for foods and treats, as well as procedures throughout the entire production process, are designed to support food safety and quality. This includes steps during product packaging and distribution to the store or warehouse, such as: reviewing the integrity of a package seal, checking for unwanted moisture that could result in spoilage, confirming the correct product barcode, and reviewing the condition of shipping containers. 

In the Store 

You can take additional steps when purchasing food from a store. While the likelihood is low, it is possible for packaging to be torn during shipping or handling. We recommend you inspect pet food and treat packages carefully for any rips or punctures that may have occurred during transport or storage, and ensure that the bag is still properly sealed. If a bag is damaged, it is important to alert store staff. 

At Home 

Once you bring pet food or treats home, review any storage guidance provided by the manufacturer. In general, dry foods and treats should be stored off the floor, and in a cool, dry location. Once a bag of dry pet food has been opened, it should be stored in a tightly sealed container. Open cans or packets of wet and fresh food should be kept sealed or covered and refrigerated. 

Proper pet food and treat storage preserves freshness and nutritional quality, and is critical to avoid common pet food pests. Insect infestation of stored foods, including pet foods and treats, can be a common problem for households, with a wide range of insects that may be attracted to dried pet foods in your pantry. 

If insects are found in the food or treat package after you’ve brought them home, you should contact both the retailer and manufacturer. Pet food and treat safety and quality is serious business, and manufacturers and pet lovers alike can play a role in keeping food free from insects and other pests during the warmer months or at any time of the year. 


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