Wet Food Arrived Warm - Is It Safe To Eat?

smosmosmo

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It's been in the low 90s where we live and Smo's Chewy order has been out for delivery since 7am (it's about 5pm now). I just unboxed everything and while it's not hot, each pouch of wet food is noticeably warm to the touch. I'm guessing it's been heating up in a hot truck for almost 10 hours.

Is it still safe for her to eat?
 

MoonstoneWolf

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I had that issue the other day only I accidentally left the food in the car. It was an unopened can of food. One thing is that a cat will not eat it if it's bad but you can always smell it to see if it's off and yes I took a tiny taste. Even though cat food usually smells bad to us we can tell the difference I would think. Others may chime in on it though.
 
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smosmosmo

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Was your food okay? And I didn't think of that, mine's a really picky eater so hopefully she'll reject it if it's spoiled.
 

MoonstoneWolf

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My food was fine. I did call Purina (it was a can of Friskies) and they told me it should be ok but we can usually smell it to see if it's off or something.

Just a little fyi: Cats and I were sharing a can of pumpkin puree for the week. I'd give each a teaspoon a day and I would have some in a smoothie. One day they started turning their nose up at it and it looked fine to me. So I drank my smoothie. I felt a bit sick that night. The next morning I noticed it had gone bad, so the cats knew that the pumpkin was going bad. I'm just telling you this so that you know that most cats can tell if a food is spoiling or not like Shaman and Treasure did on the pumpkin.
 

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It's been in the low 90s where we live and Smo's Chewy order has been out for delivery since 7am (it's about 5pm now). I just unboxed everything and while it's not hot, each pouch of wet food is noticeably warm to the touch. I'm guessing it's been heating up in a hot truck for almost 10 hours.

Is it still safe for her to eat?
I sometimes get hot boxes when my boy's food arrives at our home. I guess they loaded it a few days before the delivery before making the rounds and before reaching us.

Yes, I agree with the above posters, smell the food before feeding which I do every time.

My boy will turn his nose up and stare at his food if it smells funny and look at me and say 'Hey, whatcha giving me huh?' :lol:
 
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smosmosmo

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MoonstoneWolf MoonstoneWolf I ended up tasting the food like you, lol. It didn't taste spoiled, but it did smell stronger than usual from being heated up. Kind of different from how it normally does but not sour/spoiled. Funnily enough, she ended up polishing off her plate - she normally only eats about 2/3rds. It's been about an hour since she ate and she's just drinking water and lounging about as usual, so I'm hoping it's fine. I guess I'm extra paranoid today since my boyfriend's out of town for a week, and he's the only one who can crate her to take to the vet.
 

MoonstoneWolf

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MoonstoneWolf MoonstoneWolf I ended up tasting the food like you, lol. It didn't taste spoiled, but it did smell stronger than usual from being heated up. Kind of different from how it normally does but not sour/spoiled. Funnily enough, she ended up polishing off her plate - she normally only eats about 2/3rds. It's been about an hour since she ate and she's just drinking water and lounging about as usual, so I'm hoping it's fine. I guess I'm extra paranoid today since my boyfriend's out of town for a week, and he's the only one who can crate her to take to the vet.
How is your cat today? I think warming the food makes it smell stronger and a lot of cats like their food warm. Mine prefer theirs fro the fridge though lol but it has been suggested on the forums to heat food to make the smell more intense.
 

fionasmom

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My vet told me once that it is very hard to poison a cat because they are picky about smell and texture with their food. Your caution is certainly commendable and I would do the same thing if I thought that food was tainted.

Something to consider in this day and age of shipped merchandise of all kinds is that many products are probably sitting on loading docks, in the back of hot trucks, or elsewhere for hours but by the time we purchase them they are back to normal temperature so we never consider where they have been.
 

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I've wondered that myself since it's pretty hot and humid most of the year in our part of Texas. :)

I just happened to run across this response in the Q&A section at Tractor Supply Company a few minutes ago while double checking some info on my spreadsheet:

Q: Hi, unopened cans of these were in my friend's car for 5 or 6 days in the Texas heat (High 90s, very low 100s). Is it safe to feed them to my cats? Thanks

A: If the can seal is intact, then it maintained it's vacuum, and should be fine. If the can has become bloated at all, then it should be disposed.

For what it's worth, we've ordered many, many cases of cat food over the years, and there was only one time where the food got spoiled during shipment. The box was in really bad shape when it arrived, like it had been crushed by a trash compactor, and the cans had popped open and leaked into the box. I can't tell you how delightful that smelled! :wink:
 

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Something to consider in this day and age of shipped merchandise of all kinds is that many products are probably sitting on loading docks, in the back of hot trucks, or elsewhere for hours but by the time we purchase them they are back to normal temperature so we never consider where they have been.
Yeah that.

Canned food is canned at very high temperatures. So a little more heat isn't going to hurt. If kept at a very high temp for a very long time, it might get a wee bit mushy, but that's not really a concern under normal circumstances.
 
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smosmosmo

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MoonstoneWolf MoonstoneWolf She's doing great! Up to her usual, eating snacks and hanging out. And yes, I think the heating made the food smell better to her and seemed to thin out the texture a bit which she likes.

Thanks everyone for the reassurances! It doesn't get ridiculously hot here and the heat is usually dry, so I was likely worrying over nothing. W Willowy It's true it must get packaged at high temps and like fionasmom fionasmom said, a lot of the other cat food I've gotten shipped to me probably also sat in hot trucks for a while.

Smo is acting 100% like her usual self - lots of energy and attitude. I just gave her a few Greenies and she gave me a solid punch for limiting her to four. Here's my spoiled brat lounging about this afternoon:

 

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Be careful... there are some contaminants or toxins that a cat won't be able to smell/won't recognize as dangerous, so you can't completely rely on a cat to refuse food that is bad. That said, their sense of smell is pretty good, so in many cases it's probably enough.

But I agree that the food should be okay. It's prepared in really high temperatures. Like most canned goods, I'd say that there isn't much that will spoil it as long as the can is intact.
 
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smosmosmo

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Sonatine Sonatine Does it matter that the food's not canned? These come in pouches/packets with a lot of gravy. So far I've fed her two of the Natural Balance Platefulls packets and she barely ate half of the second packet after it had cooled down completely. Not sure if it was just an off day or if the taste/texture changed after cooling.

We also ordered some BFF pouches in gravy, but I'm nervous about feeding her those until my boyfriend's back home in case she has a reaction. The Natural Balance came in its own thick cardboard box but the BFF container was very flimsy, and the pouches arrived really, really warm to the touch. Almost like they'd been microwaved a bit. The BFF smells much fishier and seems less processed than the Natural Balance so I am a little wary.
 

Sonatine

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Sonatine Sonatine Does it matter that the food's not canned? These come in pouches/packets with a lot of gravy.
Sorry, I didn't read carefully enough. I'm actually not 100% sure about pouches. I think the food goes through similar processing that it would if it were canned, though, so I'd think that high temperatures would still be a non-issue.

If anyone knows better than I do, though, please feel free to correct me.
 
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