In continuation of our weekly food safety series for National Nutrition Month, we will reviewing simple strategies for keeping food safe as you shop through the grocery store. Believe it or not, safe food handling begins with the decision of what to buy at a grocery store. By being mindful about what you purchase, you can ensure that your food is fresh and decrease the risk of food borne illness.
Key points to consider when grocery shopping
- Make sure to choose your non-perishable foods first. Pick out the refrigerated or frozen foods last so that they remain at a cold temperature.
- If a package is torn or leaking, do not buy it. This is true for both refrigerated and shelf-stable foods.
- Pay attention to the expiration date. Do not purchase food past the “Sell-By” or “Use-By” date.
- When bagging, place raw meat and poultry into a separate bag so that meat juices will not contaminate other foods in the grocery bag.
- After grocery shopping, plan to go directly home so the food can be properly stored or prepared. If the outside temperature is warm, take a cooler or ice packs with you.
- When putting the food away, make sure to put raw meat and poultry into a separate sealed bag on a lower shelf so that meat juices will not contaminate other foods in the refrigerator.