HOW TO BUY SAFE FOODSTUFFS
The need to buy, store and consume safer products as a consumer cannot be overemphasized. It is common for everybody to preach safety first, so also is the fact that health is wealth.
Sicknesses, diseases and death locate us mostly from what we eat. In order to prevent this, it is necessary to be a smart shopper. When grocery shopping, make sure to pick up dry foods and household goods first (e.g. canned foods, grains, cereals and personal items), next fruit and veggies, then finally any perishables – hot and cold items (e.g. meat, dairy, seafood). At the check-out, keep hot and cold foods in separate bags.
Make Cleanliness a Priority
Check for cleanliness and only buy food from reputable businesses that follow food safety regulations. Determine the general impression of the facility and make sure it looks and smells clean.
If provided, use the hand sanitizer at the store’s entrance. Wipe hands and the handle of the shopping cart.
Clean hands before sampling food. Either bring moist towelettes or carry a bottle of hand sanitizer to use before you taste any samples.
If you use reusable grocery bags, wash them often.
Shop in Order
Gather non-perishable items first. Then, select refrigerated and frozen items.
Stop at the deli counter last. Place deli meats near the other cold items in your grocery cart.
Put fresh fruits and veggies on top of other foods in your cart.
Pick Your Produce
If you go to a farmers market, go early in the morning to avoid produce that has been sitting out all day.
Choose loose produce rather than packaged so you have more control over what you select.
Don’t purchase produce with mold, major bruises or cuts.
Purchase only the amount of produce you will use within a week.
Buy only pasteurized juices that have been kept refrigerated.
Inspect Food Packages
There should be no holes, tears or openings in food packages. Frozen foods should be solid with no signs of thawing. Refrigerated foods should feel cold.
Check safety seals. A loose lid on a jar means the vacuum has been lost and the product may be contaminated. Don’t buy a food product whose seal seems tampered with or damaged. Report a defective cap to the store manager.
Avoid buying any cans that are deeply dented (one that you can lay your finger into), bulging, rusting or have a dent on either the top or side seam. Deeply dented or bulging cans may be a warning sign of botulism, while cans with a sharp dent may damage the seam and allow bacteria to enter the can.
Check Dairy and Milk Products
When buying dairy products, choose cartons and containers that are cold.
Make sure the eggs are clean and aren’t broken or cracked.
Buy milk and other dairy products toward the end of your shopping trip. This will lessen the time these items are out of refrigeration.
It could be recalled that A man raised alarm recently in Nigeria after he spotted some men using Sniper as a pesticide to kill weevils in beans.
Sniper is known to be a very dangerous insecticide that should be used outdoors and should never come in contact with food.
But, in a bid to make profit, the beans sellers used it to ensure their beans stays weevil-free. This is dangerous to human health. Consumers could therefore follow the above guidelines in ensuring their food are safe for consumption