Gross Grocers

Thursday, July 17, 2008

When you're picking out fresh ingredients to prepare a home-cooked meal for your family, you think you have control over the quality of the food. But due to some supermarkets' poor health and safety standards, you may be getting more than you bargained for. First, a couple things you need to know about supermarket health standards.

• Inspections are performed by state and local officials. Although national agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have some limited oversight, it’s your state, county, or city that really sets the standards. Consequently, what's considered a violation can vary by location; some states may require meats to be stored one or two degrees colder than other states demand.

• Many grocers receive shipments from a distributor. This means that foods—such as meat, poultry, and produce—that are tainted with bacteria or other disease-causing germs could be shipped to and sold at multiple grocery stores and locations. That's why one type of contaminated food—tomatoes, cantaloupes, or spinach—can cause a nationwide scare.


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