Be smart and attention for food safety

images-52Do 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