The Washington Times-Herald

Community

July 3, 2014

Keep your produce safe this summer

Happy 4th of July to you! Summer is now officially underway and we are getting busy here in the Extension office preparing for the 2014 4-H Show, the Indiana State Fair, and there have also been many other camps and workshops our youth have participated in this summer.

Along with family trips and other things taking place, we also get to enjoy lots of fresh vegetables and fruits this time of year. This week, I would like to share with some facts and the importance of properly washing your produce. As always, if I can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me either by phone, email, or stop by the office!

Be a Produce Pro

As you enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables at home, follow these safe handling tips to help protect yourself and your family from food poisoning. It is important to be consistent in practicing safe food handling at home. For more information, go to www.fightbac.org.

CLEAN-Hands, Utensils, and Surfaces- Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables.

• Clean all surfaces and utensils with hot water and soap, including cutting boards and knives, before and after preparing fresh fruits and vegetables.

CHECK fresh produce for signs of cuts or bruising, where harmful bacteria can breed.

• Check that the fresh fruits and vegetables you buy are not bruised or damaged.

• When choosing pre-cut fruits and vegetables like pack-aged salads and sliced melons, check that the product is refrigerated or on ice.

RINSE fresh fruits and veggies just before eating refrigerated or on ice. Just before use, rinse under running water only the fruits and vegetables you plan to eat, including those with skins or rinds that are not eaten.

SEPARATE produce from raw meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and household chemicals.

CHILL-cut fresh produce within two hours to prevent bacteria growth

• Keep your refrigerator at or below 40°F.

• Refrigerate all cut, peeled or cooked fresh fruits and vegetables within two hours of preparing.

THROW AWAY-bruised, damaged or potentially cross-contaminated produce

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