How Clean Is Your Market?
Is your supermarket clean enough to prevent the spread of food-borne illness? Store managers and inspection doctors from the California Food and Agriculture Department's Meat Inspection Division recommend you search for evidence in the following places:
#1Shopping carts Spilled or poorly wrapped beverages, produce and meats that leak into carts can contaminate your food. #2Bathrooms Bathroom cleanliness indicates employee and store practices, as well as management's seriousness about sanitation. #3Aprons and handling gloves These should be fresh and changed frequently. They should always be worn when handling food. #4Shelves and display cases There should never be spattered blood anywhere (don't forget to check the ceilings). Spilled dry and wet foods should be cleaned immediately. #5Bulk bins Make sure they are sold in either plastic or wooden cases with plastic liners. Nuts, grains and other bulk foods can be a breeding ground for insects and rodents. #6"Sell by" and freshness labels Check for official-looking stamps; they are sometimes altered. If there is any question, immediately take the item to the store manager, not the department manager. #7Local newspapers In most cities, unsanitary food establishments that violate local health codes are reported here. #8Inspection records If you are concerned about your store's cleanliness, talk with the store manager or ask for a copy of the store's inspection record. #9Delivery docks Are they clean? Where is the Dumpster located? It should be covered and away from the store. #10Checkout lanes Look for spills and food remnants that may contaminate fresh or uncooked items before they're packed.