Summer food purchasing tips

In the summer, foods can quickly reach the “Temperature Danger Zone” (the temperature between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F where bacteria multiply rapidly), so it is more important than ever to handle food properly when purchasing, reports Extension Educator Carol Schwarz.
    When shopping for raw and cooked foods in the summertime, be sure the store is displaying food at the proper temperature. Never select packages that are torn, leaking or have a lot of frost on them.
    When buying raw meat and poultry put them into a plastic bag so meat juices do not cross contaminate cooked foods or those eaten raw, such as vegetables or fruit. Also, place them in a separate area from other foods in the cart.
    Put refrigerated or frozen items in the shopping cart immediately before heading for the checkout counter.
    Ask the bagger to put raw foods in bags separate from cooked foods and produce. When loading the car, keep perishable items inside the air-conditioned car–not in the trunk.

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