Food safety is a big deal at Food Town. In fact, you’ll find a Certified Food Manager on duty at each of our grocery stores during regular business hours to ensure your Food Town finds are as fresh as possible. Because we understand the importance of making sure the foods you serve your family are as safe as they are tasty, we’ve decided to launch a series of food safety blog posts. (Knowledge is power, right?) The best place to start is at the beginning, so let’s take a look at ways to encourage food safety — and prevent cross contamination — when purchasing your ingredients.
Take Care with Your Shopping Cart
You have a lot on your mind when you’re shopping your favorite Houston grocery stores, and it can be easy to throw items into your cart at random. It’s important to remember, though, that the same rules you follow in the kitchen apply here, too. Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs and seafood in separate bags, and away from other items. Avoid setting those same foods in the higher portion of your shopping cart (such as where a child might typically sit) as this could lead to drips and leaks that contaminate food stored below. Of course, you should always be aware of expiration dates. While grocery stores work hard to make sure only the freshest ingredients are available, it makes sense to stay vigilant.
Remain Mindful at the Checkout
Don’t let your guard down just because your shopping trip is nearly over. Keep those foods separated as they make their way down the conveyor belt, and as your bagger gets them all packaged up to take home. Your checkout team should be familiar with the best ways to keep food safe and separated. It’s important to note that, while grocery stores clean their conveyor belts regularly, there is always a chance that you’re setting items down on an area where a previous customer put down their meat or eggs. Practice proper handwashing and food storage once you get home.
Keep Things Healthy on the Homefront
While some people put their ingredients to use immediately after returning home, most will store at least some of their groceries. Be sure to take your items out of the car as soon as you make it home, and take care as you get things situated inside your kitchen pantry and fridge. Keep meats and seafood in areas where they won’t come in contact and contaminate other foods — and freeze those you don’t plan to use immediately. Keep eggs in their original carton and store inside the refrigerator. Avoid keeping eggs inside the door, as this can expose them to warmer air and shorten their shelf life. Be sure to wash your hands after handling foods such as poultry.
Food safety isn’t rocket science, but it does take some additional thought. Refer to the informational graphic for even more great tips from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Be on the lookout for additional Food Town food safety advice, coming your way soon!
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