Proper Safe Handling of Fresh Produce

With any food type, there rules and guidelines that should be followed in order to ensure that the fresh fruits and vegetables you buy are safe.
January 4, 2013

As is the case with any food type, there are definitely rules and guidelines that should be followed to the letter in order to ensure that the fresh fruits and vegetables you buy are of the quality and safety level you and your family deserve. Let’s take a look at how you can make sure the produce you choose maintains its integrity.

Buying Produce

When choosing produce, it really pays off to choose the very best options available. You should always buy fruits and vegetables that are in season whenever possible. If you prefer to buy your produce at local farmers markets, try to go as early as possible in order to make sure you have your pick of the freshest, choicest items. Choose loose products over prepackaged options. This will give you more control over the quality of the items you buy.

Storage of Produce

Some produce – like potatoes, bananas, or apples – doesn’t need to be refrigerated. However, you will need to make sure to refrigerate items like salad greens, mushrooms, and so forth as soon as possible. Place them in your crisper drawer as soon as you get home from shopping. Cut produce that has been left out for longer than 3 hours should be thrown out for safety reasons.

Preparing Produce

Fresh produce should always be thoroughly washed before preparing. Harder items like potatoes, turnips, or carrots should be scrubbed with a brush as well. There is, however, no need to use soap on produce items. Don’t ever use the same utensils and cutting surfaces to chop or slice your produce and salad items as you do your raw meats and other foods. If need be, try colour coding different cutting boards in order to ensure that you never use the same one for different purposes.