Food Safety Concerns on the rise- Warnings Are Out About Ways To Make Sure Food Is Handled Safely
There have been a string of food recalls lately dealing with salmonella and a host of bacteria. The Farmers Almanac has issued tips on ‘food handling safety,’ these are easy tips that can avoid a lot of food health related issues. Just as important as what someone eats, is choosing food carefully and wisely. Air borne food diseases and bacteria is not just regulated to meat and poultry, Fresh vegetables and fruit can be contaminated with a variety of bacteria and organisms.
The Farmers Almanac (FA) advises that the first line of defense against contaminated food is washing it thoroughly. When selecting produce at a grocery store or farmers market, be on the lookout for openings. Any openings on fruit or vegetables should not be selected. Any type of obvious bruising and damage on produce should not be selected. These openings could be a pathway for bacteria to get in. Produce that is pre-cut prior to purchase must be refrigerated immediately and or placed on ice.
Food Safety- Always Keep Fruit & Vegetables Separated
When buying fruit and vegetables the FA recommends that from start to finish, produce should always be separated. Vegetables and fruit should never be stored with meat,fish or poultry. The hands and surface areas in the kitchen should be washed prior to handling vegetables and fruit. Utensils should also be washed before and after handling fresh fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables must be washed before eating, preparing them or cook them.
If pre-cut products were washed, the label will indicate that, than it’s necessary for the items to be washed. Food items that have rough or wrinkled skin must be scrubbed. Any damaged or brown area of the food item should be completely cut away. Something that people may not do that the FA recommends is running all fruit and vegetables under water to clean. They recommend even items with peels that are not consumed should be washed too. In fact, bacteria can get under the peel when it’s cut, to insure against that, run water over it before cutting.
Cut Vegetables & Fruit Should Be Refrigerated Within 2 Hours Of Cutting
The FA recommends that after vegetables and fruit are cut, the items should be refrigerated within one hour. If the temperatures outside are 90 degrees or over, the items should be refrigerated within 1 hour. These food items should be stored in at least 40 degrees in a clean, and dry container. The FA advises the safest way to eat fruit and vegetables is after they are cooked. Any bacteria present can be destroyed from the heat of the cooking process.
The FA discourages people from buying fruit and vegetables that are pre-cut. There are a lot of reasons for this, one is the cost is less if you buy the items whole and cut them yourself. They are healthier whole versus cut. Furthermore, as soon as a piece of fruit or vegetable is cut they start losing nutritional value. When they are cut, and packaged and exposed to light, they steadily lose nutritional entities rather quickly.