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What should I look for when buying supermarket meat?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Gone is the time when you bought your meat from a butcher who specialized in all things carnivorous and knew how to safely handle meat. Nowadays, more and more supermarkets act like small meat-processing plants without the licensing, training, and oversight required of actual meat-packing vendors. They may not ensure that meat and chicken is tightly sealed, isolated from cross contamination, and stored at the right temperature, leaving them open to bacterial growth. Beyond that, stores are allowed to pump carbon monoxide into meat packaging, which although not harmful, gives the meat a fresh appearance no matter how long it's been sitting on the shelf.

Eat meat within two to three days of getting it home, or freeze it right away. Know the difference between the sell-by and the use-by dates. Use-by dates are federally mandated, but sell-by dates are set arbitrarily by the store and are not a good indicator of freshness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.