CHICAGO, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The holiday season means it's time to shop – for gifts and groceries. While shopping for gifts can be hard on your wallet, shopping for groceries, if not done properly, can be hard on your stomach. Grocery shopping must be done safely and smartly to reduce your risk of food poisoning. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has released a new infographic to help consumers understand the dos and don'ts of shopping safely.
"Food is a major part of the holiday season, and whether it's for a dinner party or stocking the pantry for houseguests, grocery shopping is the first step for every consumer to make sure the food they bring home is safe," says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Alissa Rumsey. "By following recommendations and downloading the new Safe Food Shopping infographic, everyone can work to ensure the food they bring home is safe for their families and friends."
Bring Along the Necessities
As you head out for your grocery shopping trip, bring along hand sanitizer to use before sampling any foods; clean, reusable shopping bags; and a cooler if you plan on being out for more than two hours. "These shopping necessities can help you keep food safe throughout the entire shopping trip," Rumsey says.
Shop In Order
Once you get to the store, shop for non-perishable items like canned and boxed goods first, then move on to refrigerated and frozen items. "Perishable items like dairy products and meats must be refrigerated within two hours, so this will limit the amount of time they are out at room temperature," Rumsey says.
Inspect All Packages and Foods
Check the "sell-by" date and don't buy the food if the date has passed. In addition, make sure food packages are free from holes, tears or openings. Rumsey recommends checking each food item as you put it into your shopping cart:
- Pick produce that is free of major bruises and damages.
- Avoid buying cans that are deeply dented, bulging or rusting.
- Choose a milk carton that is cold to the touch.
- Check that eggs are clean and aren't broken or cracked.
- Pre-packaged meat and seafood should be tightly sealed, cold to the touch and free from dents and tears. Remember to place raw meats, poultry and seafood in plastic bags before placing them in your cart, so juices don't drip onto ready-to-eat foods.
Check Out Carefully
At the checkout counter, bag refrigerated and frozen foods together to help them stay cold. Bag raw meats, poultry and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods to avoid those foods coming in contact with raw meat juices. "It can be easy to forget about food safety at the end of your shopping trip, but don't neglect these important principles at any point," Rumsey says.
Download the Safe Food Shopping infographic to guide your shopping experience. For additional holiday food safety advice including articles, videos, infographics and more, visit www.HomeFoodSafety.org.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods' Home Food Safety program is dedicated to raising consumer awareness about the seriousness of food poisoning and providing solutions for easily and safely handling food in their own kitchens. More information can be found at www.HomeFoodSafety.org.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's largest food makers with branded and private branded foods found 99 percent of America's households, as well as a strong commercial foods business serving restaurants and foodservice operations globally. Consumers can find recognized brands such as Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®, Orville Redenbacher's®, and many other ConAgra Foods brands, along with food sold by ConAgra Foods under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club stores and drugstores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong commercial foods presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice, bakery and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.
SOURCE Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics