By now you’re probably a pro at navigating the supermarket – getting exactly what you need in record time, clipping coupons, and doing your best to buy only the healthiest food items for your family. But even the most seasoned shopper may be surprised to discover the secrets your supermarket is hiding. Here, Dr. Oz shares nine valuable secrets to keep your family safe and healthy while making your shopping trip a breeze.
Supermarket Secret 1: The Egg Carton “Cold Line”
There’s more to worry about when it comes to buying eggs than cracked shells.
You need to look beyond the carton to the freezer itself. That’s where you’ll find the “cold line,” also known as the “load limit.” The cold line is a colored line or colored dots in the coolers’ dairy section painted on by manufacturers. Retailers are not supposed to stack the eggs above the line so the eggs remain at a cool, safe temperature. If they’re stacked above the cold line, the eggs can sweat, facilitating the growth of bacteria.
Next time you’re in the egg section, keep an eye out for the cold line, and be sure the carton you choose is well below it.
Supermarket Secret 2: The Freezing Cycle
When you reach for bagels, muffins, and baguettes from your supermarket bakery, keep in mind that your “fresh loaf” might be up to a year old! Here’s the secret most supermarkets don’t want you to know: Breads are kept in a big freezer in back for months at a time to prevent aging, then thawed out and put on display. Known as “parbaking,” the breads are perfectly safe, but discerning taste buds may notice a difference in flavor!
Freezing and unfreezing meat poses more of a hazard than doing so with baked goods. Meat shipped to the supermarket is first frozen in advance, then thawed out and put on display to make it look fresh. Each time meat goes through these sorts of temperature variations, the greater the risk of bacterial exposure and growth. So, while you may be tempted to buy extra meat then freeze it, doing so puts you and your family at risk. The simple solution? Buy only enough meat at a time so you can cook it all within a day or two.