Last updated: Mar 02, 2016
Feel a bit queasy about germy grocery-cart handles, human fruit squeezers, and bakers with runny noses? Heres how to protect yourself from the bacteria that may get sent home with the groceries.


Wipe up
Lots of retailers now place antibacterial wipes near shopping carts and produce departments for cart clean-ups. If they dont, put in a request or carry antibacterial hand sanitizer with you.

Wash off
Always rinse fruits and vegetables under running tap water before you eat them, says Shelley Feist, executive director of the Partnership for Food Safety Education. That should put your E. coli worries to rest and offset the fact that veggies are squeezed almost as much as the Charmin.

Use a food thermometer
You love the roasted chicken under the hot lights—but if its not at 140 degrees or hotter, it could be germy, Feist says. Warm it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees at home (use a thermometer to be sure) to kill any bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. Cook ground meat to 160 degrees, roasts and steaks to 165 degrees, and fish to 145 degrees.

Refrigerate fast
Get groceries to your fridge as soon as possible, definitely within an hour. If you have to run errands or face a long commute, carry an insulated bag or a cooler and buy ice to bed down the perishables.

Skip the samples
Do you really want to dip your hands into that communal bowl of pita wedges and hummus—or eat that little slice of pizza thats been sitting out for who knows how long? No, you dont.