You bought an airtight container thinking it would keep out mold, yet there it is. You have to throw out the food so your doggie doesn't get sick, but how do you prevent that from happening again? There are a few tricks to prevent mold growth and keep food fresher.
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Items You Will Need
• Stainless steel, glass or opaque plastic bin
• Plastic bag, if needed
• Scrub brush
• Mild soap
• White vinegar
• Fan, if needed
Choose a stainless steel, glass or opaque plastic bin with an airtight seal. These help keep humidity, sunlight and moisture out. This helps to prevent mold growth and keeps the food from going rancid. Clear plastic bins can let harmful sunlight in.
Wash the food bin every time you buy new food. Clean the bin with hot water and a mild cleaner, such as dish soap. Scrub with a cleaning brush, rinse with hot water, wipe it down with white vinegar, rinse again and allow it to dry completely. It's best to place it in the sunlight or let a fan blow on it for at least a half hour to get it completely dry inside.
Store dog food in the original bag and place the bag inside the bin. Pouring food directly into the bin can cause the food's oils and fats to settle on the bottom. This can cause food to go bad and can contaminate new food that you put in later. If mold does start to grow before you notice it, it can ruin the whole batch of food and make your pooch sick. If you don't have the original food bag, use a large plastic bag to line the food bin and replace it every time you get new food.
Keep the food bag until the food is all gone. The bag also has a barcode, batch number and expiration date. This is important info so you know if the food is expired and what to look for if there is a food recall. Remember the expiration is a use-by date if the food is unopened, otherwise you should use the food within six weeks of opening the bag.
Press the excess air out of the bag and seal it tightly every time you take food out. Then close the food bin tightly. This will keep it fresher and help avoid mold growth.
Keep the lid on tight and place bin in cool, dry, dark place like a pantry. When food is exposed to oxygen and sunlight, a lot of the nutrients can be lost. On top of that, the fat in the food oxidizes when exposed to oxygen and this can cause rancidity. A loose lid raises the risk for mold growth and pest invasion.
Throw away any food that gets wet. This can start to mold and can contaminate the whole batch.
By Susan Revermann
About the Author
Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.