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A very high standard of food safety applies to food manufacturers and retailers in NSW but there are a number of tips to help ensure food stays safe when grocery shopping:



  • choose a clean trolley or basket
  • if using re-usable shopping bags make sure they’re clean
  • use separate, easily washable bags for meat and poultry and for fruit and vegetables. 


  • check labels for date marking
  • avoid damaged packaging
  • check the product has been correctly stored
  • consider people you are buying for that may have special needs, such as allergies. 


  • buy non-perishable food first
  • leave chilled and frozen food until the end of the shop
  • leave hot food such as BBQ chicken until the end also. 


  • keep hot food separate from chilled items
  • avoid raw product coming into contact with other items. 


  • plan what you need in advance and make a shopping list to avoid overloading the fridge
  • pack chilled or frozen foods in an insulated cooler bag for the trip home
  • try to go directly home and unpack directly into your fridge or freezer, follow storage instructions on packaging. 

A good rule of thumb is to follow the key tips of food safety:

  • keep it cold
  • keep it clean
  • keep it hot
  • check the label.

Keep an eye out in store and choose product that looks fresh. But know what to expect - some products such as mince meat can naturally experience colour changes during its shelf life.

It’s important to check labels for allergy advice and for date marking. Did you know there’s a difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use-by’?

It's not just grocery shopping where consumers can help their food safety, here’s some advice if you’re shopping for a takeaway meal.

More advice on safe food shopping can be found at the Food Safety Information Council.

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