When grocery shopping, we all want to get tasty and fresh food. However, many producers and retailers are concentrated on their profit and try to use different ways to sell us illiquid goods. For example, did you know that putting a lot of herbs into a ready-made salad helps to disguise expired ingredients? Shoppers are becoming more and more attentive and revealing new tricks of dishonest retailers.
We collected a few tips that can prevent you from falling prey to grocery store fraud and ensure you’ll always be happy about the goodies you buy.
1. Avoid repackaged items.
Try to avoid buying individually packaged foods that were sliced or prepared in the deli (cold cuts, cheese or vegetable platters, marinades, fruit, etc.) It’s highly probable that these foods are expired or are just about to expire.
The date of packaging won’t tell you anything in this case, because stickers with this information can be changed several times a day. Even fresh food in this packaging immediately attracts a lot of bacteria, that’s why it’s better to either ask someone in the deli to cut and pack your food in front of you, or to choose factory-packaged goods.
2. Be alert in the deli department.
When buying ready-made salads, pay attention to salads that have a lot of garlic and spice or fresh herbs: this is how they try to disguise expired goods. When choosing a salad, remember that salads with meat or fish expire faster than vegetable ones, and salads with oil dressing are safer than salads dressed with mayonnaise.
It’s better to choose salads without dressing that can be stored up to 2 days. In order to be completely safe, you can check the shop and see if they observe safety measures for working with food. Here are some of them:
- a ready-made salad should be stored in a glass dish (it easily gets oxidized in a metal dish) in a separate display case;
- every dish has a separate spoon;
- a shop worker wears disposable gloves when touching food.