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Make sure all meats, whether raw, pre-packaged or from the deli are refrigerated when purchased. The best way to prevent this "cross-contamination" is to always keep fresh meats separate from other items.Put raw meat packages in a plastic bag so juices won't drip onto other foods.For example, some products are coded with a "use by" date which means the product's quality and safety can only be guaranteed until this date.Other manufacturers have a "sell by" date indicating that after this date, stores should not sell the product.Congress passed the act, but gave regulation duties to the Treasury Department, which did little to fix the problem.As a result, veterinarians and ranchers pushed for a more regulated solution.Developed by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute.

There may also be parts of the code the manufacturer uses to track products.

Pack raw meats in an ice chest if it will take more than an hour to get home.

Keep ice chest in the passenger area of the car during warm weather.

USDA duties range from helping farmers with price support subsidies, to inspecting food to ensure the safety of the American public.

Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a cabinet-level agency that oversees the American farming industry.

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