"Cross-contamination occurs when juices from raw meats or germs from unclean objects come in contact with cooked or ready-to-eat foods like breads or produce," says study spokeswoman registered dietician Ruth Frechman. "Food poisoning can easily be prevented with practical steps." Frechman recommends these safety measures to eliminate the risk of food poisoning:
Reduce the risk of cross contamination:Wash your grocery tote on a regular basis, either in the washing machine or by hand with hot, soapy water.
Clean all areas where you place your totes, such as the kitchen counter.
Store the totes in a clean, dry location. Avoid leaving empty bags in the trunk of your car.
Wrap meat, poultry and fish in plastic bags before placing in the tote.
Use two different easy-to-identify totes -- one for raw meats; and one for ready-to-eat foods.
Use two cutting boards when preparing food: One strictly to cut raw meat, poultry and seafood; the other for ready-to-eat foods, like breads and vegetables. Always wash boards thoroughly in hot, soapy water or in the dishwater after each use.