Food Safety Tips

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Supermarkets & Restaurants

  • Watch workers at deli counters and salad bars to make sure they're wearing clean gloves while handling foods, and removing them when handling money or touching their faces. Ask if they prepare raw meat, fish or poultry away from produce.
  • Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other food in your grocery shopping cart.
  • Ask the clerk bagging your groceries to separate meat and poultry from produce and other products to limit contamination by leaking juices.
  • Try to buy fresh produce in season, increasing the likelihood that it's locally grown.
  • Avoid buying fresh juice and stick to the pasteurized products, especially if you have young children.
  • At restaurants, check to make sure the restroom has soap, hot water and paper towels to ensure staff hygiene. Avoid establishments where the workers or counters look dirty.
  • Never eat rare hamburgers. Cut patties in half to make sure they're cooked through.

If You Get Food Poisoning:

  • If you suspect you may have been exposed to contaminated food, contact your physician, local health department and the public officials listed below. If possible, keep the original container and freeze any uneaten portion of the food.
  • For problems with meat, poultry and egg products, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: (800) 535-4555.
  • For problems with produce and seafood, call the FDA Food Safety Hotline: (888) 723-3366.
  • In the case of contaminated food eaten at a restaurant, contact your local health department.
  • For more information, contact Safe Tables Our Priority, 800-350-7867, or at the Web site below. Or go to for links to government food safety sites.



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