Temperatures are shooting back up this week and a lot of Maine families will be doing serious grocery shopping in preparation for Labor Day celebrations and packing school lunches. I usually have to stop into a couple different stores to get what I want, that means leaving some groceries in the car. Heat and humidity can cause food spoilage at surprising speed. Consumer Reports has some recommendations to prevent your family from getting sick.

Don't leave your kids, pets or groceries in a hot car! If it's 80 degrees out and you step into the grocery store for a half hour, the temperature when you return could be close to 140 degrees! That's hot enough to breed lots of bacteria, but not hot enough to kill it.

  • Perishables such as raw meat should be refrigerated within an hour
  • Bring insulated bags or a cooler with you
  • Protect your meat and fish first, diary is pasteurized so they aren't as sketchy
  • Separate raw meat and fish to avoid cross contamination
  • DON'T put your groceries in the trunk, the are safer in the main cabin of your car with air conditioning and circulating air
  • Try to make those perishables your last stop when shopping
  • Use other frozen foods to keep your cold stuff cold