Food-borne illness can be spread when bacteria-infected uncooked foods come in contact with cooked or ready-to-eat foods, such as fruits and raw vegetables. Avoid cross-contamination by having at least two cutting boards, one for meat or fish and another for fresh produce.
If possible, go grocery shopping as your last errand before heading home. If you must run other errands, put a cooler in the car and buy a bag of ice to keep the perishables chilled. In fact, in hotter climates, you need a cooler in the car even if shopping is your last stop. Forty-five minutes in summertime traffic can render meat rancid, milk spoiled and butter liquid.
While you shop: Put meats or fish in plastic bags before you stick them in your cart so they don’t drip on the vegetables or pantry items.