Food safety guide for more healhty

images-9Do you tune into the news just to find out which food is the latest addition to the “don’t eat” list? Before you continue to shun peanut butter, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, and other foods that have been caused foodborne illness at some point over the last few years, find out what you can do to help improve food safety.

Food Safety: What Is There to Worry About?

The U.S. government, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), works to prevent and investigate cases of food contamination. The FDA, for example, has a Food Protection Plan focusing on preventing contaminated food from hitting U.S. supermarkets and quickly intervening if contaminated foods do make it to market.

Despite the regulations and controls, however, sometimes food can still come into contact with harmful germs, presenting a food safety issue. And if certain foods, such as raw chicken, aren’t handled in a safe manner, they can quickly contaminate other foods, like nearby fruits and vegetables on your kitchen counter, and lead to illness.

With the recent salmonella scares involving seemingly wholesome foods, what’s really safe to eat?

Salmonella and other food contamination scares shouldn’t make you afraid to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. You can’t spot contaminated food just by looking at it — unless it has obvious mold or rot, but you can be more careful about how you choose the foods that you buy, and how you store and prepare foods.

Be a Smart Food Shopper

Some foods are more likely than others to be contaminated with germs. Likely culprits include:

  • Eggs
  • Foods that contain raw eggs
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and other seafood
  • Dairy products, including milk
  • Unpasteurized milk and juice
  • Vegetables and fruits

But that doesn’t mean that all of these foods are going to be contaminated, just that they are more susceptible to contamination. To insure food safety to as great a degree as possible, follow these tips:

  • Seal and store. Wrap steak, hamburger, chicken, fish, and other meats in plastic bags and store them separately from other foods — to keep potentially contaminated juices from seeping into the other foods.
  • Examine packaged foods. Don’t buy dented cans, jars with loose lids or cracks, or any packaged food with a broken seal.
  • Inspect eggs. Never buy eggs that aren’t refrigerated or those with cracks in the shells.
  • Keep cold food cold. Save the refrigerated and frozen food sections for the end of your shopping trip — make milk, eggs, and other refrigerated products the last things you put into your cart.
  • Keep hot food hot. Pick up prepared or hot foods at the end of your shopping trip, too, just before you check out.