Efforts to protect grain-based dry pet foods from field to point of purchase may not prevent an insect infestation if a package is damaged during shipping or the display process, said Subramanyam "Subi" Bhadriraju, Kansas State University Research and Extension entomologist and grain scientist.

For pet owners wanting to select wholesome pet food, Bhadriraju suggested:

--Choose packages that are tightly sealed and without obvious damage such as a puncture or tear.

--Avoid packages displayed near a pet food spill.

"Check the use-by dates and choose the freshest possible product," Bhadriraju said.

To protect pet food and isolate any contamination, if one should occur, owners also should transfer newly purchased pet food into a re-sealable food container, he said. To store a larger quantity, they could consider a re-sealable plastic drum.

More information choosing, using and storing food products is available at local K-State Research and Extension offices and on Extension's website: www.oznet.ksu.edu.

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