Tips for Handling Raw Produce and Fresh-Squeezed Juices

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Purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables from roadside stands and farmer’s markets is a highlight of the summer, but caution must be taken.

Because produce is often consumed raw, people are at risk for foodborne bacteria that multiply faster in warm weather, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

To prevent illness, the FDA provided the following suggestions:

  • Purchase produce that is refrigerated or on ice if pre-cut and is not bruised or damaged.
  • Bag fresh fruits and vegetables and keep them separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood in your cart and shopping bags.
  • Wash all produce under running water before eating, cutting or cooking, and dry with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce any bacteria.
  • Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
  • Look for pasteurized or otherwise treated products in the refrigerated sections, frozen food cases or non-refrigerated containers, such as juice boxes, bottles and cans. Untreated juices sold in grocery stores and farmer’s markets must contain a warning label indicating that the product has not been pasteurized.

Taking these and other precautions will help you enjoy the summer and the bounty it brings.

Therese Umerlik | Editor

Photo courtesy of Jill Clardy via VisualHunt.com.

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