Food Safety for Pregnant Women - In the Know: Becoming a Better Shopper

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Follow these safe food-handling practices while you shop.

  • Carefully read food labels while in the store to make sure food is not past its “sell by” date.
  • Put raw packaged meat, poultry, or seafood into a plastic bag before placing it in the shopping cart so that its juices will not drip on – and contaminate – other foods. If the meat counter does not offer plastic bags, pick some up from the produce section before you select your meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Buy only pasteurized milk, cheese, and other dairy products from the refrigerated section. When buying fruit juice from the refrigerated section of the store, be sure that the juice label says it is pasteurized.
  • Purchase eggs in the shell from the refrigerated section of the store. (Note: store the eggs in their original carton in the main part of your refrigerator once you are home.) For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served – homemade Caesar salad dressing and homemade ice cream are two examples – use either shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella by pasteurization or pasteurized egg products. When consuming raw eggs, using pasteurized eggs is the safer choice. 
  • Never buy food that is displayed in unsafe or unclean conditions.
  • When purchasing canned goods, make sure that they are free of dents, cracks, or bulging lids.  (Once you are home, remember to clean each lid before opening the can.)
  • Purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged.
  • Check Your Steps:
    • Check “Sell-By” date. 
    • Put raw meat, poultry, or seafood in plastic bags
    • Buy only pasteurized milk, soft cheeses made with pasteurized milk, and pasteurized or juices that have been otherwise treated to control harmful bacteria.
    • When buying eggs, purchase refrigerated shell eggs. If your recipe calls for raw eggs, purchase pasteurized, refrigerated liquid eggs.
    • Don’t buy food displayed in unsafe or unclean conditions.