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  #1  
Old Oct 30, 2012, 09:22 PM
Mark M. Mark M. is offline
 
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Location: USA
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Default Does wet food spoil?

Does canned food spoil if you leave it unrefrigerated for a couple hours? I've wondered about this for awhile. Occasionally, we feed Murphy and leave the food sitting out. I suspect it might be ok, but I don't want to chance it so we normally just throw the can out.

I should mention that we normally take a couple of weeks to use up a can of moist food. We don't feed Murphy moist food, exactly. I feed him dry, but smear a little of moist food on my finger or a spoon, then smear it on the food to flavor it a bit. After Murphy eats, we put a lid on the can and put it back in the refrigerator. We could get a month - 5 weeks out of a 13 oz. can. Murphy rarely eats the whole can. After a couple weeks, I decide we've gotten enough use out of the can and toss it out.

I'm sure it would spoil if I left it out uncovered overnight or for a day, but I'm never sure about it after, say, an hour. Generally, my thinking is that it's better to err on the side of caution.

Reason I bring this up now is we left a can out this morning for several hours (w/ the lid on) and it mistakenly got put back in the refrigerator. I forgot it had been left out until after Murphy ate. As per usual, Murphy ate a very tiny amount of it, so I assume it smelled ok to him. Of course, I threw out the can as soon as I realized what happened and put out a fresh can.

I'm not too concerned (he's eaten worse), but what does the board think?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Oct 30, 2012, 09:34 PM
Lightplum Lightplum is offline
 
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I dont feed the dogs wet, but I do the cats...heres what Ive done for years (and I havent killed one of them yet...)I feed them 1/2 canned wet food at around 6-6:30pm and than the rest after the dogs are crated for the night around 10-10:30pm..my house is never over 72 degrees..I tried putting it in the fridge for them, but they dont like it chilled...sooooo I leave it on the counter covered with a lid. Anything more than that time i'd probably chuck it..
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  #3  
Old Oct 30, 2012, 09:37 PM
mbfrench mbfrench is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightplum View Post
I dont feed the dogs wet, but I do the cats...heres what Ive done for years (and I havent killed one of them yet...)I feed them 1/2 canned wet food at around 6-6:30pm and than the rest after the dogs are crated for the night around 10-10:30pm..my house is never over 72 degrees..I tried putting it in the fridge for them, but they dont like it chilled...sooooo I leave it on the counter covered with a lid. Anything more than that time i'd probably chuck it..
We do the same here! Oreo does not like cold food. Room temp. And since the can is gone by 5pm,it works out good. 1/2 in morning,1/2 at night.
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 10:40 PM
mellie mellie is offline
 
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I think one month is a long time to use a can of food...can you get a smaller size can ?
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 08:41 AM
Mark M. Mark M. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mellie View Post
I think one month is a long time to use a can of food...can you get a smaller size can ?
i think so too, though we've been doing this with Murphy for quite a while without any problems. Like I said, we rarely use up a whole can. Usually, after a two weeks, I throw out the can and open a fresh one.

Smaller cans are a good idea. Natural Balance also makes a 6 oz. can. I think I'll switch to the smaller size this week.
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  #6  
Old Oct 31, 2012, 08:58 AM
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take4roll10 take4roll10 is offline
 
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Two weeks seems long to me too. Unless you're freezing canned food, 3-4 days is recommended in the frig. After that it can spoil.

Smaller cans are a good idea. Wellness makes small cans as well. I use them to fill kongs and freeze it.
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  #7  
Old Oct 31, 2012, 10:09 AM
Mark M. Mark M. is offline
 
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There's never been any hint of a problem, but, dog food is pretty inexpensive. I don't have a problem with buying a couple small cans a week, using them for a few days, then throwing out what Murphy hasn't eaten. It certainly must smell & taste ok to Murphy. He'd prefer to lick moist food remnants from the side of the bowl than eat his dry.
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 02:56 PM
Tagg Tagg is offline
 
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It's a bit of work but you can divide the can into portions and freeze in ziplock bags. Thaw as needed. I take the chill off in the microwave for the barn cats. It's hard on stomachs if fed cold - not a natural way that a cat would eat it if you know what I mean. I never leave it out on the counter or use an opened can after 3 days. It does have meat and vegetable matter in it after all.
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 03:06 PM
biowicks biowicks is offline
 
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Olive doesn't get any wet food--Pavi did because he ate a very bland prescription diet and we had to add something to get him to eat it at all, and our cats (4) split one can daily. I refrigerate the can after opening, and when I want to use some, I put it in a small microwave safe bowl (corelle sauce dishes) and nuke it on 1/2 power for maybe 20 seconds. It is enough to warm it up but not make it hot. Microwave power levels are not the same on all ovens, so you'd have to experiment a little, and I recommend covering it loosely with a white paper towel. There's nothing like exploded tuna kitty dinner to stink up your microwave!

Because food that has been microwaved continues to warm for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven, I let it sit a bit before I use it. The smell of the warm hot food brings all my furry buddies to the kitchen in a hurry, too!

I would not use any food from an open can, refrigerated or not, after 4 or 5 days. Once you've opened it, bacteria and fungal spores from the air get on the food, and if conditions are favorable, they will grow in the food.
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