Whether shopping for canned goods or fresh produce, it's important to examine the product closely before purchasing. Below are some tips to help you make safer selections during your next trip to the market.
Shop for nonperishable items first, such as canned and dry goods. Buy refrigerated, frozen foods and hot deli items last - right before checkout.
Reject any fresh produce that appears damaged or bruised. Fresh cut produce for sale should be refrigerated or surrounded by ice.
Refrigerate fresh produce within two hours of peeling or cutting. If left at room temperature for more than two hours, discard.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be washed with cool tap water - do not use soap or detergents, which may leave harmful residues. Cut away any bruised or damaged areas of fruit or vegetables before using.
Wash and sanitize cutting boards and utensils before and after handling fresh produce.
Look for packages that are cool to the touch and have no wear or punctures. Select meat and other perishable products just before checking out.
Make sure all meats are refrigerated when purchased. Keep fresh meats away from other grocery items to avoid cross contamination. Put raw meat packages in plastic bags so juices will not drip onto other foods. Pack raw meats in a cooler if it will take more than an hour to get home. Keep the cooler in the passenger area of the car during warm weather. Take meats home and refrigerate or freeze promptly.
Check the condition of canned and vacuum-packed foods. If the packaging is swollen or there are signs of moisture or leakage, do not purchase or use the product. Check boxes to be sure there are no rips, tears, or punctures. If there are signs of damage, moisture or leakage, do not purchase the product.