What Should We Pay Attention To When Buying Food?
When purchasing foodstuffs, first buy dry and canned foods, then fresh vegetables and fruits, then fresh meat and fish, then frozen food.
1. Examine the packaging thoroughly
Do not pick up foodstuffs with holes, cracks, or tears on the packaging. Always buy fruits and vegetables first and put them in plastic bags. Then get your fish or meat. Check the expiry date on the packaging and do not buy foods that have expired. While writing the expiry date, it is written taking into account that the food will be kept under appropriate storage conditions.
If it is written that the food will be kept cold, it is assumed that the food will be stored at 4 ° C or 2 ° C. Therefore, if the food is not kept in these temperature conditions, the expiration date is no longer important. Sometimes foods such as cheese and fruit and vegetables can become moldy when they are removed from the package.
Almost all cheese, fruit, vegetable, deli salads are contaminated with mold but cannot be seen. Mold growth becomes visible over time. Buy food fresh as much as possible and store, prepare and consume it under appropriate conditions. Sometimes shelf life is only an estimate.
2.Check the Temperature on the Shelves
If you feel that a food that needs to be kept cold is not cold, do not buy it. If applicable, check the temperature gauges in coolers and freezers.
Fresh fruit and vegetables: <10 ° C
Milk and dairy products: <4 ° C
Meat, fish, chicken: <2 ° C
Frozen food: <-18 ° C
3.Check the Recommended Expiry Date
There may be many reasons for sensitivity to certain foods, the way foods are produced and stored, one-way eating habits, effects such as stress, environmental effects, alcohol, etc. These effects affect intestinal functions, and a constant battle begins as the components in food activate our immune system. The antibodies formed begin to damage the body’s own tissue or fat metabolism at an increasing rate.
With the food intolerance test, we can detect these foods that damage our body and activate our immune system. Considering the patient samples, the patient cannot lose weight despite dieting, cholesterol levels are high and even uric acid metabolism varies. In fact, it is concluded that people who are weak by eating choose those foods instinctively and do not consume them. It can provide improvement not only in metabolism slowing and weight problems, but also in diseases such as migraine and chronic skin diseases that are troublesome to the patient but cannot be achieved.
4.Choose fresh products
Make sure that fruits and vegetables look as fresh as possible. Avoid picking up vegetables and fruits that are very wet, have stains, and are slightly rotten or smeared with sap. Just remember that appearance is not a guarantee that the food is SAFE.
5.Check the History of Dairy Products
When purchasing milk and dairy products, the ones with original packaging should be preferred. Unpackaged cheeses, ice creams, butter are not produced under hygienic conditions and may contain some pathogenic microorganisms harmful to human health. For example, these products made from raw milk may contain microorganisms such as Brucella and Salmonella that threaten human health significantly.
• Raw milk sold on the street should not be bought. Substances such as carbonate and soda may have been added to these unpackaged milks to prolong their durability. It may even have been cheating by taking oil and adding water. Since the cold chain cannot be provided until these milks reach the consumer, the microorganism load may increase. Again, because controlled heating cannot be performed in houses and even boiled, vitamin B1, B6, B12, folic acid, vitamin C loss, color and flavor changes occur in milk. For these reasons, original packaged pasteurized or long-life (UHT) milk should always be purchased.
• When purchasing dairy products, it should be ensured that they are kept cold.
• There should be no leakage or other damage in its packaging.
• It should be purchased in accordance with the production date and expiry date, and the expired product should not be consumed.
• It should be taken in the amount to be consumed within a few days.
• Milk and dairy products should be refrigerated and stored as soon as possible after purchase.
6.Check the Eggs
Eggs should be kept at 4 ° C in the market. Do not buy eggs kept at room temperature. Pathogenic (pathogenic) Salmonella enteridis microorganism can be contaminated in the shell of the eggs and may also pass into the egg. At temperatures lower than 7 ° C, this microorganism cannot reproduce since there is not enough moisture.
Make sure that the eggs are not broken, cracked and excessive dirt. You can test the freshness of the egg when you break it into the pan. In general, when broken into the pan, the egg whites should not exceed 7.5 cm in diameter and the yolks should be 0.1-1.3 cm high.
7.Meat, Chicken Selection
• If red meats are in full carcass or half carcass, legal stamps on meats
• Fresh and bright red meats offered for sale, chicken meats being vibrant, fresh, bright and gray-white in color.
• Avoid purchasing meat in excessively yellow, green and similar colors other than their natural colors.
• The lack of excessive wetness and stickiness on the surface of poultry and red meat.
• The absence of fecal contents or contamination due to environmental factors on the outer surfaces of red and chicken meats.
• Dull and dark brown or blackened meats are not taken due to the loss of moisture and drying of the surface parts of the meats due to long-term preservation.
• Red and white meats sold in containers in piece forms should not be purchased if too much bloody liquid is collected in the container.
• Failure to purchase if the meat has an aggravated bad odor, medicine or disinfectant odor other than its specific odor.
• If possible, not to buy ready-made minced meat prepared from red and chicken meats sold in the shelves, and to take them from places where veterinarians work when necessary.
• Not removing excessively soft and crushed red and poultry meat
• Paying attention to the expiration date on red and poultry meats to be purchased frozen and also not purchasing thawed and softened products.
• No regional color change on meats to be purchased frozen
• The storage cabinets in the meat sales departments should be in working condition and the temperature of the sections selling chilled fresh meat should not be above 4 ° C, and the refrigerators selling frozen products should not be below -18 ° C
• Shopping from businesses with separate sales departments and separate sales personnel for red meat, offal and poultry meat in the aisles.
• The expiry dates on the packages of red and poultry meats sold as ready-to-go packages are not exceeded.
• The vacuum of red and chicken meat and products sold as vacuum packages is not broken.
• Products in unpackaged form without a company label are not taken.
• Shopping from places where the meat sales departments are clean, tidy and the working personnel are well-groomed and comply with the cleaning rules.
• Lack of food and other items other than meat and meat products in the sales aisles
• Taking meat needs of consumers at the last stage during shopping
• Bringing the meat purchased from the shelves home as soon as possible and keeping them in the refrigerator.
• Keeping the meats taken more than the daily need in deep freezers at homes by dividing them into portions that can be consumed at once.
• Frozen meats not to be frozen again after thawing
8.Tips for buying fresh fish
When we evaluate fish meat compared to other meats, the low connective tissue and the higher digestion rate due to the properties of its fat are seen as an advantage, while being very sensitive to spoilage constitutes a significant disadvantage. For this reason, fish meat must be preserved under hygienic conditions in the post-fishing stages.
It can be difficult for the consumer to determine the deterioration in fisheries. In particular, poisonings from a fishet that has been consumed before visible changes occur carry a greater risk. Therefore, it is important for public health to comply with hygienic conditions and control at all stages from hunting to table.
An evaluation can be made by checking the sensory qualities that everyone knows more or less in detecting spoilage in fish meat, but it is not sufficient to reach a definitive decision. The controls we can do for this purpose can be done as follows:
• The eyes of fresh fish are transparent and bright. As the fish get stale, the eyes become dull and lose their brightness and bleeding is seen around them.
• The skin of fresh fish is stretched and shiny, when the scaleless fish begin to become stale, their skin loses its shine. As the fish gets stale, wrinkles occur especially in the abdomen.
• The gills of the fresh fish are pink-red and the gill covers are closed, as the gills of the fish become stale, first they turn gray and white, then brown and black, and their lids begin to open.
• To be sure the freshness of the fish should be checked by hand. To understand that the fish is fresh, press it on the fish with your finger. If the hole is corrected immediately, the fish is fresh, if the fingerprints remain, the fish means stale.
• In addition, when you lift the fish from its head, if its tail rises straight as in the pan, it is an indication that it is fresh, if it hangs down, it is stale.
9.Intake of Frozen and Refrigerated Foods
To avoid temperature rise in these types of food, buy it towards the end of your shopping. Take care to buy products that are below the fill line of the freezer.
If there are ice crystals on the package, it indicates that the food has been kept in the freezer for a long time. If the temperature change in the freezer is + or – 9.5 ° C, the surface of the frozen food becomes warmer with defrost (thawing) and when the temperature drops again, the free water on the surface freezes and the surface of the food loses water. This is a quality issue.
10. Selection of Pasta, Cereals and Other Dry Foods
These products should be free from visible insects. Insect eggs can be found in cereal-type foods. If you store food in a warm and humid environment, these eggs will turn into living insects. Pay attention to the shelves where you buy these products, as there may be clues to indicate contamination.
11. Selection of Canned Foods
Be sure to check if there is any opening in the boxes. Bumps formations on the top or bottom of the box are dangerous. Faulty canned food consumption can lead to death. Most of the time, these curved formations are due to the hydrogen gas formed as a result of the reaction of food with acids from tin.
Unfortunately, it may also be the result of the growth of Clostridium botulinum microorganism, and the poisons of this organism are fatal. Never open this type of tin no matter what and take it back.
12. What should be considered when buying honey?
• Buy branded honey: It is not possible to understand the quality of honey by taste or any other sensory properties. The risk belongs to the consumer in the honey sold in the open, and the packaging company in the branded honey.
• Buy filtered honey: Although there is a belief that honeycomb honey should not be cheated, this is not always the case. These honeys can also be produced by feeding the bee sugar. In addition, most of the drug applications used in beekeeping are directly on the combs. It is not possible both practically and economically to analyze each comb individually.
• Question the brand: Make sure that the brand of the honey you bought is a reliable brand that has proven itself over the years, that the product has expressions that clearly indicate the product and company identity such as batch number, filling date, expiration date, company name, phone number and a warranty band on the cover. . In addition to all these, inquire about the quality control system of the company that produces the brand, whether it has an expert and experienced staff in honey and whether it produces under hygienic conditions.
• Watch out for fraudsters in beekeeping by-products such as propolis, pollen.
13. Packing Your Grocery
While putting your purchased material in bags, pack cold and frozen products together. Place the fresh meat and chicken packages at the bottom of the bag.
Do not put chemical materials such as detergents in the same bag as foodstuffs. If someone else is putting it in bags for you, ask them to do it that way.