As many Jamaicans venture week by week in the
marketplace to purchase their grocery, very few are familiar with the
profiteering business of the food industry. Most food places are seemingly
focused on sales and profits, rather than ensuring that safe and wholesome foods
are sold to the public. In this week’s health tip, we will be disclosing five
food secrets you need to consider when grocery shopping.
According to CBC News in 2015, best before date tells
a consumer how long that food will keep its flavor and nutritional value. It
doesn’t have anything to do with the safety of the food. On the other
hand, raw meats, deli meats and soft cheeses should never be consumed pass
their best before dates. This is because these high-risk foods have the
potential to grow pathogens that can get us sick.
Did you know, that there have
been reports of operators tampering with best before dates? As noted by several
food investigators online, staff from various food places have reported to have
change the dates on whole cakes that have passed their best before date. These
items are then re-packaged in smaller serving size with a new best before date.
In addition, fruit tart is another food that have been reported to be re-surfaced
with fresh topping and fruits then given a new best before date after they have
gotten old and moldy. This practice can be
very dangerous, as it can result in aspergillus, a very dangerous mold remaining
on the tarts and producing micro toxin which can be very fatal over time
or swollen can products
Can products are normallydesigned with a protective sheeting inside it, the function of
this protective layer is to create a barrier, so as to prevent the content of
the can from coming in contact with the metal. Whenever a can gets a sharp dent,
it may compromise its quality hence exposing the metal to the food. This could cause
the can to rust hence creating pin holes in it and facilitating the entry of pathogenic
microbes in the can.
On the contrary, a swollen can could signify that the
content of the can has been contaminated with Clostridium Botulinum. This microbe is a spore-forming anaerobic
bacterium, which is found normally in the soil and on produce. This therefore
means that during the harvesting and preparing of the food to be canned, Clostridium would have contaminated
the food. Can foods that appear swollen should never be consume, as it may
result in paralysis or even death.
and seasoned meats
It has been reported that there have been unscrupulous
operators, who have disguised the staleness and oldness of meat by grounding fresh
meats and stale meats together. Staled meats have also been reported to have been
dipped in blood to increase its red appearance then re-labeled with a new best
before date. The CBC news in 2015 has also stated that persons have seasoned old
meat and sold it to the public to disguise its staleness. In most cases grounded
and seasoned meats are sold at an increase price when compare to whole and
for one promotions or items on sale
Its very important to check dates on food items that
are on two-for-one promotion or sale. This is because it could be that the best
before date will soon expiry and operators are trying to get them out the food
premises before they become stale and spoil.
your items from the back of the shelf
Most food store practice a first in first out stock
rotation method when stocking their shelves. This therefore means that the
fresher foods are normally located at the back. Additionally, if shelves are
stock from bottom to top with the same food items, the fresher foods are
located on the bottom shelve. This is process is done to make the less fresher
food more accessible to customer so as to get them out the food store and
In conclusion, its very crucial that as consumers we
make informed choices when we are purchasing foods. Inspect your foods
carefully and check your label and dates. Remember your health is your responsibility.
you purchasing safe food in the marketplace?