Today we will focus on keeping our food safe and free from bad bacteria that can make us sick.
Buying and Selecting Fresh Produce
FV can be contaminated with bad bacteria from the soil or water where they were grown. Additionally, they can be contaminated during storing or preparation.1 Eating food that has been contaminated can lead to a foodborne illness or food poisoning1. For that reason, it is important to follow safe handling practices. Here are some tips to select and purchase the right FV:
- Select FV free of bruises or cuts
- If purchasing pre-cut fruit select those that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice
- FV should be put in separate grocery bags from raw meat, poultry, and seafood
- When storing perishable fresh FV (strawberries, lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms) these should be placed in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 40 F or below. You can use a thermometer to check your refrigerator temperature
- Make sure you refrigerate all produce that has been purchased pre-cut
- Do not store raw meat, poultry, or seafood above any fresh FV
- Keep FV away from raw meat, poultry, and seafood during cooking and from kitchen utensils used for those products
- Wash thoroughly all cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with soap and hot water between preparing raw meat, poultry, and seafood and preparing produce that will not be cooked
- If possible, use separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, seafood and produce (it might also help to use different color cutting boards)
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after cooking and when going from produce to meat, poultry, or seafood OR from meat, poultry, or seafood to produce.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas that FV may have
- Wash all FV under running water before preparing/eating them
- After washing, dry FV with a clean towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may have been present
This mobile phone application was created by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Cornell University, and the Food Marketing Institute. This application will help you store your foods and beverages in a way that maximize freshness and quality. You can download this app on your mobile device OR you can check it out through the website by following this link:
Food Safety. Food Keeper App. Internet: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/foodkeeperapp/index.html (accessed July 5, 2017)
Additionally, since the main focus of this program are FV, I have created in alphabetical order an infogram for FV storage (based of off the FoodKeeper App4) so that you can quickly browse for the storage tips for produce!
Check them out:
Again if any of you guys want these infograms for printing let me know and I can email them to you 🙂
Last great tips on FV storage!
Here is one of my favorite videos3 for fridge organization and cleaning! This video helped me learn how to clean my fridge and store my foods to keep a healthy refrigerator. Hope you enjoy it and find it as helpful as I did!
Want more information on food storage for the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer4? Here are is a helpful handout:
The university of Nebraska-Lincoln. Food Storage. Internet: http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/ec446.pdf (accessed 27 June 2017)
One more helpful link! This link gives you some great tips on how to best store your foods that belong in the pantry5… check it out:
Honey Bear Lane. 10 Steps to an Organized Pantry. January 2017. Internet: http://www.honeybearlane.com/2017/01/10-steps-to-an-organized-pantry.html (accessed 5 July 2017).
Happy safe food handling! 😀
- S. Food & Drug. Produce: Selecting and Serving it Safely. June 2017. Internet: https://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm114299 (accessed 27 June 2017)
- Food Safety. Food Keeper App. Internet: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/foodkeeperapp/index.html (accessed July 5 2017)
- My Fridge! Cleaning & Organizing a Healthy Fridge/Limpiando y Organizando una Nevera Sana. January 2017. Internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXl0ONT5MDg (accessed July 5 2017).
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Food Storage. Internet: http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/ec446.pdf (accessed 27 June 2017)
- Honey Bear Lane. 10 Steps to an organized Pantry. January 2017. Internet: http://www.honeybearlane.com/2017/01/10-steps-to-an-organized-pantry.html (accessed 5 July 2017).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Food Safety. Internet: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/index.html (accessed 20 July 2017).