Most shoppers know how important it is to purchase food that is safe for their family.
As money is tight these days, saving every cent matters. But when it comes to ensuring the health of your loved ones, keep these tips in mind:
- Start your shopping with nonperishable items first and then dairy, frozen foods, meat and poultry toward the end of your shopping trip.
- Beware of bargains: cans that are dented or have the tops swollen could be contaminated with bacteria.
- Sometimes items that are out of date are still on the shelves. Look toward the back of the shelf for ones with more current dates. Be sure to check labels.
- Don’t buy partially thawed frozen-food packages, as they could be an invitation for bacteria.
- Pre-packaged salads are very convenient; however, they have been known to cause foodborne-illnesses. Wash all leafy greens thoroughly and use within a few days.
- Notice if the cases containing milk and meats are as cold as they should be (35-40°). If the cases are crowded, the temperature may not be low enough.
- If you live out of town, be sure to take along an ice chest in order to keep the perishable foods cold until you get home.
- Choose supermarkets that are clean.
- Don’t place meats or dairy products on the door shelves, as the inside of the fridge is colder than the door.
- All produce should be washed thoroughly.
- If you buy prepared salads from a deli, be sure you keep them cold enough until you are ready to serve them.
Once you are home from your grocery shopping and put everything away, wash your hands thoroughly before you begin dividing up meats, and other fresh foods. Use antibacterial wipes or other antibacterial cleansers on the cutting board, cabinet, or wherever food has been. It pays to keep things as germ-free as possible, especially in the kitchen.