Food Poisoning Prevention: In the Supermarket
The prevention of food poisoning starts at your trip to the grocery. Here are some tips to help you in choosing the right foods:
- Do not buy foods in cans that are dented or bloated or in cracked containers with loose or bulging covers.
- Select the eggs refrigerated in the store. Open the egg container to check if the eggs are clean and without cracks before purchasing them.
- Choose your packed and canned goods first. Buy frozen foods and perishables like meat, poultry, or fish last to keep them from warm temperature for a longer time.
- If you are buying frozen sea foods, do not choose the packages that are opened, torn, or crushed on the edges. Avoid the packages that are above the frost line in the freezer of the store. When the package cover is translucent, see if there are signs of frost or ice crystals because this can mean that the fish has either been stored for a long time already, or has been thawed already and was re-frozen.
- Choose only pasteurized milk, cheese, treated ciders and juices, particularly if you have health problems regarding your immune system.
- Check of the meat is clean, or the fish counter and the salad bar. For example, cooked shrimp lying on the same bed of ice with the raw fish can be contaminants.
- Have the meat, poultry and fish products on separate plastic bags to prevent the drippings contaminate other foods in your shopping cart.
- Bring an ice chest to keep the frozen and perishable foods cold if it will take more than an hour to arrive home.
- When you are planning to buy shellfish, buy from the markets that obtain their supplies from the state-approved sources; avoid from the vendors who sell shellfish from roadside stands or at the back of the truck. If you are harvesting your own shellfish, follow the warnings on the safety of the water.