Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

Understanding and learning what kitten food product codes mean is a key way to make sure you are choosing the right kitten food. While choosing the right kitten food ingredients is important, making sure that those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. This article will teach you the basics about how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans, as well as all dog and cat foods.

What Is a Product Code?

A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces to provide information about when and where the kitten food was made.

As part of the product code, IAMS® products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in ddmmyy and ddmmmyy formats (line 1 below).

The second line represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control (line 2).

(ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy) (Line 1)

Example: 040206 04FEB06

(Line 2) 60351111## QQQQQQQ

This product should be used before February 4, 2006.

Depending upon the production line, pouch products (IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time) may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.

What Is Shelf Life?

Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a kitten food product that is stored properly maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.

The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.

What Is Proper Storage of Dry and Wet Products?

Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.

Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers, and frozen immediately.