Your precautions against food poisoning (food-related illness), begin when you are shopping:
- You should get your packaged and canned goods first. Be sure that the cans or bottles are not damaged; there should be no cracks, dents, bulging, or loose lids.
- It is advisable that you only buy pasteurized dairy products. Juices and ciders should likewise be pasteurized.
- You should only purchase eggs that are refrigerated in the store. Furthermore, you should check to ensure that they are clean and without cracks.
- The last thing that you should buy is frozen meat, poultry, and fish. This will keep them defrosted for the least possible amount of time. These should also be in separate bags, to eliminate the risk that, while defrosting, they drip onto other food items, possibly spreading contamination.
- Be particularly careful with your choice of seafood. If the packaging is damaged in any way, do not purchase it. Likewise, if it is above the freezer’s frost line, do not buy it. If there are signs of frost or ice crystals, this also means that it probably should not be purchased, as it may indicate that the product has been repeatedly frozen and thawed, or has been on the shelf for a very long time.
- Do not buy shellfish from roadsides stands or people selling out of the backs of their trucks. Seek out vendors that have been authorized by the state to sell.
- Before purchasing, look over the meat and seafood counters as well as the salad bar. These are points were raw, infected food could contaminated cooked food. Make sure that there does not appear to be any cross-contamination.
- Finally, it may be prudent for some, to take an ice-chest in their car, in order to transport frozen goods home, if the drive is long.