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Foodstuffs during summer period

07/28/2009
 
Temperatures rise during the summer period and this results in the risk of a quicker deterioration and eventual growth of the so-called alimentary diseases agents. Temperature and humidity are the main factors for growth of microorganisms for which foodstuffs provide excellent nutrient substrate. 
In summer months we should buy only such quantity and types of foodstuffs we can consume by the highlighted date on the wrapping and for which we have ensured proper storage conditions declared by the producer. We should realize that conditions of storage are a recommendation both for merchants and for us.
After buying perishable foods we should transport these foods home as quickly as possible and store them in a refrigerator in line with the information provided on the wrapping or consume them. We thus avoid deterioration of the product due to the effects of high temperatures during transportation.  
When buying food it is worth to be cautious. We should never buy foodstuffs with expired use-by date or foodstuffs that had not been stored under the conditions declared by the producer when bought (for example, in refrigerating or freezing chests and cases, etc.) We should also avoid foodstuffs with damaged wrapping, foodstuffs that do not look fresh, with obvious surface defects such as mould or rot.
When preparing, presenting and selling unpacked foodstuffs for direct consumption – ice creams, desserts, delicatessen, direct contact of the foodstuff with hands of the serving person must be excluded. It is therefore useful to pay attention to the fact whether the seller uses any instruments for handling the foodstuffs – tongs, napkin and other clean and suitable instruments and tools. Cleanliness of the seller´s clothing and of the point of sale can also tell us valuable information.
Unwrapped foodstuffs must placed within the sale process in such manner they are protected against contamination, climatic effects and, if it is not a self-service sale process, against contact with the consumer.   
Risk perishable foodstuffs include for example classic confectionery and delicatessen products, ice creams dairy products, sausages and other meat products, chilled poultry and poultry products, fresh chilled fish and fish products. These foodstuffs are marked with use-by date (the words “Use by…”) and specific storage conditions. The conditions of storage declared on the wrapping must be complied with for the entire period of sale. Foodstuffs with expired use-by date must not be sold in any case.
In case of unpacked foodstuffs the use-by date, storage conditions must be indicated on a visible place in the proximity of the sold foodstuffs.
Article by: Inspectors, CAFIA Inspectorate in Ústí nad Labem