The Holiday season is upon us! Below are tips from our network of Food Safety Specialists to keep you and your family safe this Holiday season starting with your trips to the grocery store.
- It’s important to only shop in reputable stores and ones you know that have consistently passed health inspection. With consumer reviews being so prevalent online, or by simply reviewing your local newspaper, this has never been easier.
- Upon entering a store, use the hand sanitizing wipes most provide to wipe your hands and cart handle. With the amount of traffic these stores see, hundreds of people have likely used that very same cart and who knows what may be crawling on them.
- For those that utilize reusable grocery bags, make sure to wash them often. You may not realize it, but you have probably had raw meat or seafood in them one week and fresh vegetables the next. This could result in cross-contamination and increase the likelihood of you contracting a foodborne illness.
Inspect Food Packages
- Make sure there are no holes, tears, or blatant openings of packaging. Check frozen foods and ensure there are no signs of thawing. All of these will allow for bacteria to creep in.
- Check the lids of cans and jars to make sure they are not loose or opened.
- If buying canned food – inspect each can to make sure they are not dented, bulging, or rusting. Bulging or dented cans may signify the prevalence of bacteria or botulism.
- If purchasing raw meat, seafood, or poultry; put each package into plastic bags. This eliminates the risk of the packaging leaking onto ready-to-eat foods.
- Ask for your respective raw items to be put into separate bags upon cashing out.
- Shop for perishable foods last. This ensures that any raw produce or frozen foods remain at refrigerated temperatures the longest.
- After shopping, do your best to return home within 30 minutes of checking out. The temperature of your perishables may rise upwards of 10 degrees whilst returning home.
- If you’re going to be longer than 30 minutes, bring a cooler with ice packs to keep your perishables in. This will ensure they stay fresh while you’re running the rest of your errands.