Check the packaging and the expiry date on the label

Everyone should have experiences on purchasing food products. What do you consider when buying food? Do you think you do the right things during purchasing food? Do the following quiz to test your purchasing habit.


You want to buy something for dinner. The following is your checklist:


  • Cabbage ---- 1 piece
  • Minced pork --- 500g
  • Frozen chicken wings --- 2 lbs
  • Canned soup --- 3 cans
  • Bottled milk (pasteurized) --- 5 bottles
  • Eggs - half dozen
  • Detergent --- 1 bottle
Question 1 You first go to a supermarket to buy frozen chicken wings, canned soup, bottled milk & detergent. What is your sequence to pick up the selected items?
  1. No fixed sequence. I will pick up the things as I walk round the supermarket.
  2. I will pick up the food items first and the non-food items later.
  3. I will pick up the dried items (including food and non-food items) first and the wet items, like frozen foods and chilled foods, later before checking out.
Question 2 You are now in the dry goods section to look for canned soup. When you find it, what will you check on the can ?
  1. Packaging & expiry date
  2. Artwork on the label
  3. Presence of recipes
Question 3 All needed items are in your basket and you are ready to check out. After scanning all items, the cashier takes some plastic bags to put in your stuff. What is the correct way to pack?
  1. Pack each product in separate bag.
  2. Pack the frozen chicken wings and chilled bottled milk in one bag and canned soup and detergent in another.
  3. Pack all products randomly.
Question 4 After leaving the supermarket, you go to the wet market to buy the other food items including cabbage, minced pork and eggs. What is you concern when buying non-packaged food items?
  1. Check the price only.
  2. Check freshness and the price, and buy more if it is cheap.
  3. Choose reliable and reputable shops with good hygiene conditions, check the freshness of the food and buy in appropriate quantity.
Question 5 After buying all goods, you should go home promptly. Why?
  1. To have more time to prepare dinner
  2. Have to store the frozen and chilled foods in the refrigerator promptly
  3. The stuff is heavy

Is your purchasing practice correct? Are you aware of the above main points? Let's review the "Big 5" critical points again.

  1. When buying food, take the dried items (including food and non-food items) first and the frozen and chilled products later before checking out to reduce the staying time at the temperature danger zone (4°-60°C) and minimize possible hazards.
  2. When buying prepackaged foods, first check the packaging (if it is intact or has any peculiarities) and the expiry date printed on the label before considering other issues.
  3. Put RTE and non-RTE foods in different bags and pack the foods and chemical agents separately to prevent the foods from being contaminated. Wet and dry goods should be put in separate bags.
  4. When buying non-packaged food, you should :
    • Choose reliable and reputable shops and check the cleanliness of the premises;
    • Check the freshness of the food. Pay more attention when buying fresh pork - don't buy the pork if it has an unusual bright red colour and is shiny as this may be caused by sulphur dioxide;
    • Avoid buying too much food at one time because the freshness of food can reduce as time goes by.
  5. Go home and store the frozen and chilled foods in the refrigerator promptly to reduce the time they stay at ambient temperature in order to keep them at their original status and maintain their quality.