Fresh produce is plentiful right now, but it’s important to follow some safe-handling tips to help protect yourself and your family, said Rebecca Dittmar, AgriLife Extension program specialist in nutrition and food science, Kerrville.
Dittmar said some simple handling practices can greatly reduce the risk of foodborne illness from fresh produce.
When purchasing produce, Ditmar said, be sure to check fresh fruits and vegetables for bruising or other signs of damage. If purchasing pre-cut fruits and vegetables, make sure the product is refrigerated or on ice. Dittmar also said be sure to separate produce from raw meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy and other items while shopping.
Use running water to rinse only the fruits and vegetables you plan to eat, Dittmar said.
For additional safety, Dittmar suggested tossing out any bruised, damaged or potentially cross-contaminated produce, as well as tossing any fruits or vegetables not refrigerated within two hours of cutting, peeling or cooking.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.