An estimated 48 million Americans–one in six–is sickened every year by foodborne illness or food poisoning. We all know that it’s impossible to guarantee the pureness of everything our families eat, but we can still take steps to lower everyone’s risk.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do opt for whole produce- like melons or lettuce. Pre-cut produce has a greater risk of contamination due to mixing of several batches before it is bagged and sold.
Do place groceries in the back seat of your vehicle. Food will stay longer there than in the trunk where airflow is restricted.
Don’t put raw meat directly into your shopping bag. First place it in a plastic shopping bag provided by the store, then place in a reusable tote designated for meats only. The reusable tote should be washed frequently with hot water.
Don’t let raw meats mix with other foods. Keep raw meats in a separate area of your grocery cart.
Below is a list of refrigerated food items and how long it can be kept in the refrigerator before tossing.
- Ground beef— 1 to 2 days (raw) or 3 to 4 days (cooked)
- Steaks and roasts—3 to 5 days (raw) or 3 to 4 days (cooked)
- Eggs— 3 to 5 weeks
- Hard boiled eggs— one week
- Bacon—1 week (raw) or 4 to 5 days (cooked)
- Lunch meat– 3 to 5 days
- Hot dogs– 1 week (opened) 2 weeks (unopened)
- Fish and Shellfish— 1 to 2 days (raw) or 3 to 4 days (cooked)
- Milk–2 to 3 days after the sell-by date.
- Prepared salads such as: egg, chicken, ham, tuna ect.— 3 to 5 days.
Our grandparents age-old advice still remains the best,”When in doubt, throw it out!”
Family Circle-August 2014; FoodSafety.gov