Keep Food Safe and Cut Grocery Costs with Home Food Safety Tips in Support of National Food Safety Education Month
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CHICAGO – During National Food
Safety Education Month in September, keep food safe and your grocery bill in
check with food storage advice from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and
ConAgra Foods' public awareness campaign: Home Food Safety.
store food can keep it safe and fresh longer, reducing not only your risk of
food poisoning, but also food waste and ultimately your grocery bill," says
registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Marisa Moore.
Approximately 31 percent of all edible food is wasted in the U.S., and
American households throw away about 19 percent of vegetables and 14 percent of
the fruit they buy.
"A lot of good food goes bad before we get to enjoy
it. So before you head to the store, shop in your refrigerator first," Moore
says. "Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more, but make
sure to check the label or shelf
life to ensure it is okay to eat."
Much food waste is due to improper
storage and misreading labels, according to Moore, who offers tips to help
foods last longer and reduce the amount of food wasted.
"Use a refrigerator thermometer to ensure your
refrigerator or freezer isn't running a fever," Moore says. Store perishable
foods at or below 40°F in the refrigerator and at or below 0°F in the
Store produce properly to extend freshness. "Some fruits and
vegetables should be stored in the refrigerator and others at room temperature,
while some should not be stored together." Check out this handy Produce Storage
infographic to learn more.
can also dramatically reduce food waste in your home by knowing what the date
labeling terms on the package mean to avoid throwing out food that is still OK
to eat," she says. More than 90 percent of Americans may be prematurely tossing
food because they misinterpret food labels according to Moore, who highlighted
these key terms to look for:
- The "sell by" date tells the store the
last day they should sell that specific package. "Buy the product before the
'sell by' date passes and cook or freeze the product before it expires - check
the time on the Keep
It Cool Storage Chart or download the Is My Food Safe?
app for a list of the shelf life of common foods."
- The "best if
used by" date is the recommended date for best flavor or quality.
"use by" date is the last date recommended for use of the product at peak
quality. "Remember, you can't always tell if food has gone bad by how it looks,
smells or even tastes. So if a product has a 'use by' date, definitely follow
that date," Moore says.
Moore also adds that if the "use
by"date is approaching, there is no need to force yourself to eat it
all to avoid waste. Freeze
surplus food, such as abundant seasonal produce or meats to extend its
shelf life. "You can even get creative, such as freezing
soon-to-expire yogurt in ice trays to later blend with fruit for a
smoothie," says Moore, who highlights this technique on The Cutting Board
"While it's important to reduce food waste for both the
environment and our wallets, remember: When in doubt, throw it out!"
more tips on safe food storage, read Produce from
Purchase to Plate: Steps to Reduce Food Waste or see the infographic Read
Food Labels to Reduce Food Waste.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods' Home Food
Safety program is dedicated to raising consumer awareness about the seriousness
of food poisoning and providing solutions for easily and safely handling food
in their own kitchens. More information can be found at www.HomeFoodSafety.org.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food
and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's
health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education
and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's largest packaged
food companies with branded and private branded foods found 99 percent of
America’s households, as well as a strong commercial foods business serving
restaurants and foodservice operations globally. Consumers can find recognized
brands such as Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®,
Orville Redenbacher's®, and many other ConAgra Foods brands, along with food
sold by ConAgra Foods under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass
merchandise, club stores and drugstores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong
commercial foods presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as
well as other vegetable, spice, and bakery products to a variety of well-known
restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more
information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.