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Shopping Tips to Prevent Food Poisoningfrom: Maxx Family Life
Too often people get sick, sometimes dangerously so, from food poisoning. Some get sick from restaurant food, but a lot people get ill from food purchased at the grocery store. However, it's surprising that not everyone actually traces back their illness to the way they shop for their food. They likely assume the food itself was bad when in reality it's possible their process of shopping is somewhat to blame. Here are a few shopping tips to remember when buying food at the supermarket:
1. Always pick up perishables last. Get your canned and prepackaged foods first but make sure you check the packaging for any tears, rips, dents or cracks. Only buy canned food and jars that are unblemished. Cans that are dented, or bulging tops on jars and cracks in the packaging are all potential breeding grounds for bacteria.
2. Expiration dates should be taken seriously. Never buy anything beyond the expiration date, especially dairy products, medications and meat. Choose items that provide an expiration date that shows the item will stay fresh the longest.
3. Use the paper towels and plastic bags near the meat poultry case. These items usually have juices that will drip from the packaging. Most any raw meat can make you sick, so prevent them from dripping onto your other groceries by putting them in a plastic bag and placing them different area of your shopping cart.
4. Be careful of eggs which can be hazardous to your health if you don't inspect them. Open the egg carton to check whether any of the eggs are cracked. Also make sure they've been stored in a cool, refrigerated area and never purchase eggs that haven't been cleaned.
5. When buying frozen meats and seafood, dig down below the frost line of the freezer because sometimes the packages at the top could have defrosted a bit and then refrozen because of other customers constantly opening and closing the freezer doors. Never buy anything with packaging that's been damaged or opened.
6. If you're purchasing fresh meat or seafood from the butcher's display case, make sure they buy from reputable sources. The last thing you want is to discover they bought their shrimp from Bubba on the side of the road.
7. When purchasing items from a salad bar, it's important make these items have been refrigerated and displayed properly. Also avoide cross contamination by making sure the sushi can't mingle with the salad greens.
8. Get ice cream and other milk products last keep them segregated from meat and prepackaged goods. This ensure that cold and frozen items don't get warm and spoil while you're wandering around the store for another half hour getting the rest of your groceries.
9. This also applies if you plan to buy hot foods from the deli -- save that for last as well. This gives the food less time to cool off before you get it home.
10. Once you've finished shopping, get home quickly and put your food away. If you must make a stop or two afterwards, or if you live more than thirty minutes from the store, it's a good idea to bring along a cooler with ice packs to pevent your cold and frozen foods from spoiling.
Protecting yourself and your family from food poisoning is critically important, but relatively easy if you pay attention and are cautions with how you shop. Of course, you're also going to have use the same safety rules when you're preparing your meals as well.
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