Although food recommendations have not changed due to COVID-19, there are a few important items to remember when storing food after a trip to the grocery store. To help us understand more about ways to keep our food safe, West Virginia University Extension Service Families and Health experts Andi Hoover and Hannah Fincham have provided some tips and steps to help us stay safe.
“Always wash your vegetables and fruit before you eat them. The USDA recommends washing vegetables under running water.”
"If possible, the FDA recommends selecting produce that isn’t bruised or damaged. Pre-cut items such as bags of lettuce or watermelon slices should be refrigerated or kept on ice while in the store and at home.”
“We often over stock our canned foods in our kitchen cabinets. To ensure food safety and no food waste, we want to use the ‘First In, First Out’. When you come home from the grocery store with a couple of cans of food, pull out your older cans that you may still have. Put your new cans in and your older cans in front of those so you will use those first.” – Andi Hoover, associate professor and Greenbrier County Families and Health agent, WVU Extension Service
“Food temperatures are important. It’s necessary to stay out of the danger zone –between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep cold foods below 40 degrees and hot foods above 140 degrees. Foods left in the danger zone for two or more hours should be discarded.”
“Cooked foods that are put into the refrigerator should be labeled with a ‘use by’ date, as we often forget when a dish was made. The ‘use by’ date should be no longer than seven days. After seven days, even refrigerated food can start growing bacteria. Leftovers should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.” – Hannah Fincham, assistant professor and Randolph County Families and Health agent, WVU Extension Service
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