As a consumer, you play an important role in the safety of your food.
Here’s what you need to know about keeping your food safe so it doesn’t make you sick.
Pay attention to the food you chose. When shopping in the supermarket, don’t choose opened or damaged packages, dented cans or bruised produce, and check expiration and sell-by dates for all food.
Shop right. Shop for nonperishable items first, like canned and dry goods. Place refrigerated, frozen foods and hot deli items in your cart last, on your way to the checkout line. If you have other errands to run that day, do your food shopping last, you don’t want food sitting in your car while you take care of other business. You can also pack a cooler in your car with ice packs so that the food can remain at a safe temperature until you get home.
Keeping your home environment clean. Kitchens are the germiest place in your home, so it’s important to regularly clean and sanitize your kitchen counters as well as the kitchen sink. Avoid cross-contamination of foods and pathogens by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meats and vegetables. Always wash the exterior surface of all melons and other produce before slicing or peeling it to help remove soil and surface bacteria. Make sure to properly wash your hands before cooking or eating and especially after handling any raw meat.
NSF The Public Health and Safety Organization. Food Safety is a Shared Responsibility. NSF International. http://www.nsf.org/newsroom/food-safety-is-a-shared-responsibility/. Published July 31, 2014. Accessed March 13, 2019.