Food Safety Tips for Warm Weather Grocery Shopping

As a family caregiver, there are many precautions that you need to make during the summer months to avoid the potential dangers of this season. From making sure that your elderly parent wears proper sun protection to prevent sunburn to managing hydration needs, you take many steps to help your senior stay safe and healthy during this month. One of the most important that you need to keep in mind, however, is food safety. Foodborne illness impacts millions of people throughout the United States each year, and can be more of a risk during the warmer months of the year due to the more rapid growth of bacteria in higher temperatures. Practicing food safety from the time that you pick out your groceries is vital to guarding your loved one’s health throughout the season and beyond.


Use these food safety tips to make your warm weather grocery shopping as healthy and safe as possible:

  • Bring insulated containers. Bring along insulated containers or a cooler with ice packs to store groceries for the trip home. Keep in mind that food can become dangerous within an hour when the temperature outside reaches 90 degrees or higher, and that transportation time home counts in this.
  • Choose dry groceries first. When you go into the grocery store, shop for dry groceries and household products such as pasta, cereal, canned goods, detergent, and soap, first. Save cold or prepared hot foods for last, keeping the most vulnerable items, such as milk, for the end of your shopping trip. This minimizes exposure to higher temperatures.
  • Remember hot food is at risk, too. Cold food is not the only food that may be vulnerable to the pathogens. Hot prepared food can develop these risks as well. If you purchase hot prepared foods, make sure that you protect them properly and get them home as quickly as possible so that they can be consumed within a safe period or cooled.
  • Stay out of the trunk. Avoid putting groceries in the trunk. This area of the car gets extremely hot, putting groceries at higher risk. Instead, keep non-dry grocery items out of the trunk and in the air conditioning with you.


If you have been looking for a way to help your parent achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place, starting elder care for them may be the ideal choice. An elderly home care services provider can be with your senior on a schedule that is customized to their individual needs so that they are able to not only manage their challenges and limitations in the way that is right for them, but can also pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible throughout your parent’s later years. This care provider can give your parent a wide range of services that are highly personalized to ensure that they are able to live the quality of life that they desire and deserve. This can include providing safe and reliable transportation to where they need and want to go so that they can maintain more activity and independence, assisting with personal care needs, and encouraging your loved one to make healthy lifestyle choices that can protect their health and well-being. When it comes to protecting your senior from foodborne illness, this care provider can support your parent in ensuring that their food is prepared and stored properly, and that expired foods are removed from the kitchen before they can potentially cause an illness.

If you or someone you know needs elder care in Durham, NH, contact the staff at Atlantic Homelife Senior Care. We provide quality and affordable home care for many disabled and elderly loved ones in our community. Call us at 603-343-4434 for more information.