A lesson on Pet Food Taste Testers
You have probably heard of people who have a job as a food CRITIC, tasting food and giving their opinions and ratings on the smell, taste, TEXTURES, and APPEARANCE for chefs and restaurants. But did you know that there are people whose job is to taste-test pet food products? It sounds crazy and strange, but this PROFESSION is a highly skilled one. Pets generally eat the same food every day, so it needs to taste good enough for them to want to eat the same thing repeatedly. So, if you have ever wondered what man’s best friend’s or your cat’s food tastes like, this lesson will discuss pet food test-tasters’ wacky job.
Spell TASTE Spell PRODUCTS Spell STRANGE
What profession are we talking about today? PET FOOD TEST TASTERS
The paragraph describes this crazy and strange profession as a highly _____ one. SKILLED
Pets generally eat the same food ____________ EVERY DAY.
Their food needs to taste good enough for them to want to eat the same thing ______________. REPEATEDLY
Name one thing that food critics give their opinion and ratings on for chefs and restaurants. SMELL, TASTE, TEXTURES, APPEARANCE
Who is man’s best friend referring to in this paragraph? DOG
Name another animal besides a dog or cat.
A lot of pet food taste testers are NUTRITIONIST since they not only taste the food but also test for its nutritional content. Some have degrees in CULINARY ARTS or food SCIENCE. While taste is super important, the nutritional value the food has is also critical to the animal’s health and LIFESPAN. Mindful pet owners will usually read nutritional labels of their pet’s food to ensure it has healthy ingredients. Therefore, writing reports and determining ways to enhance the flavor and nutrition for the pet food companies that they work for is also part of their job description. Major pet food companies that employ pet food taste testers include PURINA, ALPO, BLUE BUFFALO, or PEDIGREE, but there are many more.
Spell DEGREES Spell HEALTH Spell VALUE
While the taste of the food is super important, the ___________ value is also critical to the animal’s health and lifespan. NUTRITIONAL
Mindful pet owners are usually going to read nutritional labels of their pet’s food to ensure it has healthy __________ INGREDIENTS.
Pet food taste testers may also work to determine ways to enhance the ___ of the food. FLAVOR
Name one of the degrees mentioned that a pet food taste tester may have. CULINARY ARTS, FOOD SCIENCE
Name one of the pet food companies listed in the paragraph. PURINA, ALPO, BLUE BUFFALO, PEDIGREE
Name another field of study that may be helpful to have working in the dog food industry. SCIENCE, MARKETING, HEALTH, VETERINARY
What is your ideal household pet to own?
VAKT: Point to the middle cup of food in the picture.
So, how does the food get tested specifically? One of the first things that the pet food taster EVALUATE (or tests) is the food’s SMELL. Let’s face it, humans don’t want food in their house that smells FOUL (or bad), like fish or liver, and animals also pay attention to how their food smells. It is one of the first things that we notice about their food. After the smell is tested, it is time to test the flavor, texture, and CONSISTENCY. You are probably wondering if they really do taste the food, and the answer is yes! The taste testers take a very small bite of the pet food, and luckily, they can spit it out after sampling it. After spitting out the food, they CLEANSE their palate in preparation for the next bite by drinking water or even GARGLING.
Spell HOUSE Spell NOTICE Spell ANSWER
One of the first things that the pet food taster evaluates is the food’s what? SMELL
What is another word for foul from the text? BAD
Luckily, after sampling the food, the taste testers do what to the food? SPIT IT OUT
The paragraph compared bad-smelling food to 2 things. Name one. FISH, LIVER
After the smell is tested, its time to test 3 more things. Name one. FLAVOR, TEXTURE, CONSISTENCY
If you could pick to have all your food smell one scent, what would it be?
VAKT: Point to the fork in the picture.
How much a professional pet food test taster makes depends on their CREDENTIALS and experience. Research on the topic reveals that SALARY is from $34,000 per year to more than $100,000. According to ZIPRECRUITER, (a website for job seeking), the average salary for a food tester is $54,294 annually. This job is not for those with a weak STOMACH, but professional pet food tasters report that you must prepare your mind as well as your body for this line of work. Also, they are CAUTIOUS to protect their taste buds since their job depends on being able to savor the flavors. Avoiding smoking, alcohol, and even super spicy or salty foods are some ways they can protect their taste buds.
Spell PROTECT Spell WORK Spell ANNUALLY
What is the website for job seeking mentioned in the paragraph? ZIPRECRUITER
Pet food tasters report that you must prepare your ____ as well as your body for this line of work. MIND
Pet food tasters are cautious to protect their what? TASTE BUDS
Name one thing that pet tasters should avoid to protect their taste buds. SMOKING, ALCOHOL, SUPER SPICY FOODS, SALTY FOODS
What is the average annual salary for pet tasters in dollars? 54, 294
The highest reported salary for pet tasters is more than what? 100,000
VAKT: Watch this video showing pet food taste testers! Warning: these testers don’t spit out the food…
Who is the most famous pet taster? His name is SIMON ALLISON. Allison’s main job is testing food for dogs and cats; however, he can also try food for fish, hamsters, and other domestic animals. He is a senior TECHNOLOGIST in his food company, “MARKS & SPENCER.” Simon is the taster who makes the last decision for the readiness of the pet food before it enters the pet food market. Allison says, “dog and cat food is quite tasty, much better than is commonly believed.” Since he knows the detailed processes in the technology for the food, he knows that for his company only natural products are being used without any unnecessary chemical ADDITIVES.
Spell MAIN Spell MARKET Spell BELIEVED
Who is the most famous pet food taster? SIMON ALLISON
What is Simon Allison’s title? SENIOR TECHNOLOGIST
What is the name of his food company? MARKS AND SPENCER
Name one of the animals that Allison tastes food for. DOG, CAT, FISH, HAMSTERS
Why does Simon trust that the food he is testing is more natural?
VAKT: Point at the pet food that Simon Allison is holding.
Simon is the pet owner of 3 cats named PANTS, SOCKS, and VEST. He feeds them the organic, luxury chicken dinner with vegetables for cats. Simon reports, “Dogs enjoy all food universally, while cats can be very choosy about what they eat. They respond more to aroma than seasoning flavors that you would recognize.” Simon reports that he prefers a smooth texture that is only slightly “gritty.” He thinks that owners like to know that vegetables are in their pet food but that animals, particularly cats, do not like them. Mr. Allison says he does not swallow the food, and his trick to cleaning his palate is a glass of water and chewing gum to avoid “dog breath.”
Now that you have learned about this strange profession, the next time you feed your pet (if you have one), you can feel good that it’s been human-tested!
Spell LUXURY Spell RESPOND Spell ANIMALS
What kind of meat does Simon prefer for his cats? CHICKEN
What food group does Allison think cats do not like? VEGETABLES
What does Allison say he uses to avoid “dog breathe”? CHEWING GUM
What is the opposite of the word “smooth”? ROUGH
How many cats does Allison own? 3
What are your thoughts on being a pet food taster? Would you ever consider this as a profession you would consider? Why or why not?