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Fruit and Vegetable Safety

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Keep your produce safe

With all the news about food-borne illnesses, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, there’s an increased concern about safe handling these days. Here are some actions the Food and Drug Administration suggests you take to keep raw fruits and vegetables safe for you and your family:

Purchase & Storage

• Don’t purchase damaged or bruised produce. (If your produce gets bruised or damaged after you’ve purchased it, make sure you cut away those parts before preparing or eating.)

• If you purchase precut produce, such as half a watermelon or bagged salad greens, pick only those that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice.

• When bagging groceries, keep raw produce separate from raw meats and seafood.

• Store your produce at a temperature of 40˚ Fahrenheit or below.

• Always refrigerate precut or peeled produce.

Fruit and vegetable preparation

• Always wash your hands (for 20 seconds) with warm water and soap before handling produce.

• Always thoroughly wash your produce under running water before preparing or eating. Even if you peel your produce, wash it first.

• Scrub firm produce with a brush before you prepare or eat it.

• Dry produce with a paper towel or cloth towel to further reduce bacteria.

• Keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from raw meat and seafood products—and from utensils that have been used on those products.

• Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot water and soap between preparation of raw meat and seafood products and the preparation of foods that will not be cooked.

Thorough Cleanup

• For additional protection, use kitchen sanitizers for cutting boards and countertops periodically.

• If you use plastic or other nonporous cutting boards, run them through the dishwasher after using.



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Disclaimer: "The statements and opinions expressed on this site are of the Independent Watkins Associate who owns the site. They are not to be construed as the statements or opinions of Watkins Incorporated."