Think twice before grabbing prepared food at the grocery store

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It's really easy to stop at the grocery store and pick up a prepared bowl of pasta or salad at the end of a long day when you want to avoid cooking or going to a restaurant. Be careful though, because there may be a risk you run for the convenience of grab-and-go dinners.

Prepared foods at grocery stores are reportedly making people sick. Seven different states in the past year have reported illness linked to an E. Coli outbreak at Costco.

The Wall Street Journal reports Whole Foods was forced to shut down a few of its commercial kitchens that produce fresh meals for retail stores after safety gaps were reported in their Boston plant. The move was made after an FDA warning.

Why is the grab-and-go meal now a threat? Likely because the demand for prepared foods has grown in the last year causing sales to double from $15 billion to $28 billion.

The FDA says the biggest concerns for consumers are the employees mishandling foods or not washing their hands while working with foods.

Prepared meals have many perks, but safe and sanitary should certainly be among them!

RELATED: 5 tricks grocery stores use to make you spend more

5 tricks grocery stores use to make you spend more
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5 tricks grocery stores use to make you spend more
1. Staples are placed in the back

Necessities such as milk and eggs are always packed in the rear, so consumers have to walk through the entirety of the store even if they just want to pick up a few things.

Photo: Reuters

2. Flowers and bakery items are in the front

These fragrant and visually appealing products are deliberately placed in the front of the store to activate shoppers' salivary glands and makes them hungry, which leads them to buy more during their trip. These are also high margin departments, so grocers place them in the front when a shopper's cart is empty and they're more likely to add to it.

Photo: Getty

3. Fresh produce is near the front

These bright and aesthetic items excite the eye, prompting consumers to spend more.

Photo: Getty

4. Shelving is based on adult shopping habits and children's habits

Expensive and leading brands are at eye-level, and kid-friendly products like sugary cereals are typically at kids' eye-level.

Photo: Getty

5. Foods are paired together

Shoppers are much more likely to buy a complementing item if it's right next to it, such as chips and salsa, or bread and spreads.

Photo: Getty

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