Food retailers must comply with strict food safety standards to make sure that the food you buy is safe. However once you buy the food, it’s up to you to make sure that it stays safe!
There are many situations between buying your food and safely storing it at home where it can be at risk of becoming unsafe. Follow these tips to keep your food safe when shopping.
Safe food shopping
- buy your hot and cold foods last and keep the hot foods such as BBQ chicken separate from the frozen and chilled foods
- keep raw meats separate from other foods as they may leak
- check use by dates
- check for damaged food packaging such as swelling and/or leakage, rust and scratches, broken tamper seals, dented or damaged containers, damaged seams, abrasions, blisters or wrinkles (if the food is in sealed pouches)
- at the check-out, make sure the sales assistant places raw meats in a separate bag and keeps chilled foods together – cold with cold and hot with hot.
Safe food transportation
It is important that you get your perishable food home and safely stored as soon as possible to prevent it being in the temperature danger zone for too long. When transporting food home always:
- make sure the cold foods are kept out of direct sunlight
- take an esky or insulated bag to store cold foods – especially if you are travelling more than 30 minutes from the shops, or on hot days
- place chilled or frozen foods in the fridge or freezer as soon as you get home.
The temperature danger zone is between 5°C and 60°C, when it is easiest for harmful bacteria to grow in food.