Here are some ways to keep your produce safe and fresh:
- Select and purchase only fresh produce.
Examine the produce to make sure it is fresh with no spoilage evident.
- Keep fresh produce separate from raw meat in your shopping cart, in bags at checkout and in your refrigerator.
- Wash your hands with hot water and soap before handling any produce before meal preparation.
- Wash your fresh produce thoroughly before each use. This is very important in controlling illness.
- Remove and discard bruised or damaged portions when preparing to cook them or before eating them raw.
- Discard produce that has touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or their juices.
- Clean cutting board, knives and peelers, and all other surfaces and utensils that will touch produce before and after preparing food. Clean with hot water and soap.
- Do not use the same cutting board for produce and for meat and poultry without cleaning it thoroughly with hot water and soap before and after food preparation.
A survey published in the Journal of Food Protection found that 6% of consumers seldom or never wash fresh produce and nearly half don't wash their hands before handling produce. The study estimated that each year 65 million to 81 million Americans become sick from eating food prepared at home because simple precautionary cleaning is not performed.