Remember food safety when you're enjoying fresh fruit and vegetables

Michigan grown produce will start appearing in farm markets and gardens as we get closer to summer; keep them safe to eat.

You may be seeing asparagus at your local farmer’s market or in your own garden. The market I drive by daily has been advertising that their asparagus is now available. It’s the beginning of the growing season for Michigan-grown fruit and vegetables and soon there will be an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy.

MyPlate reminds us about the nutritional benefits of enjoying fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle including the important vitamins and minerals and high fiber content we need. Michigan State University Extension recommends that before adding fresh fruits and vegetables to enhance your meals and snacks, remember to include some key food safety produce tips:

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Before and after preparing fresh fruits and vegetables, clean all surfaces and utensils, including cutting boards and knives, with hot water and soap.
  • Wash your produce just before use by rinsing it under running water
  • While washing under running tap water, rub firm-skinned fruits and vegetables by hand or scrub with a clean brush. Don’t forget to wash those fruits and vegetables with skins or rinds that are not eaten, such as watermelon and squash.
  • Do not wash packaged fruits and vegetables labeled “ready-to-eat” or “washed.” This could cause contamination of the clean produce.
  • Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean paper towel.
  • Never use soap or bleach to wash fresh fruits or vegetables, since these products are not meant to be eaten.
  • Refrigerate at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit all cut or peeled, fresh fruits and vegetables within two hours of preparing. Be sure to have a thermometer in your refrigerator to ensure a safe temperature.

Follow these simple steps to keep all your great tasting, fresh fruits and vegetables safe and healthy!

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