October 21, 2021

Avoiding Food Poisoning From the Grocery Store

Grocery-Side-you-dont-see_IG-finalDid you know that you can get a foodborne illness just by shopping at the grocery store? The Grocery Coupon Network has put together an Infographic to tell you about the hidden dangers lurking at the supermarket.

The shopping cart is the first area of potential problems. There is a 72% chance that your shopping cart has poop on it. When little kids sit in the front part of the cart, their diapers can leak onto the cart. ¬†Wipe the cart handle and the “sitting” area with wipes before you start shopping. Many stores provide the wipes, but it’s a good idea to always carry your own. And it’s a good idea to just avoid putting food in the seat area. If you need to use that area, put the flip seat up so your food isn’t sitting where children sit.

Recalls of foods, for mislabeling, misbranding, undeclared allergens, and possible pathogen contamination, are usually posted at the store. Check them often to make sure you don’t have any food in your house that is recalled for pathogenic bacteria, incorrect labeling, or undeclared allergens. If you see a food for sale that has been recalled, notify the store manager. It’s illegal to sell food that has been recalled.

Organic produce can harbor bacteria just like regular produce can. Veggie misters keep the produce fresh, but also help keep bacteria alive. Food safety experts recommend that you skip the free samples, whether at the deli, the produce aisle, or the bakery, especially those that are just put out for anyone to grab. If you didn’t wash your hands before taking one, chances are lots of other people didn’t either.

When you buy raw meat, always bag it in another bag. It’s possible to pick up E. coli, Salmonella, or Campylobacter from a raw meat package. Keep the raw meat packages away from your kids too.

When you check out, remember that the conveyor belt at the checkout line can be covered with bacteria and mold. Don’t let unbagged produce touch the belt. Belts are a “non-food” surface, so aren’t inspected. Remember to wash your reusable bags, and separate raw meats from veggies and produce. Then get the food home quickly and refrigerate perishable foods promptly.

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