Eating well has never been easier with all of the options available to consumers today. Farmers markets, organic produce co-ops, and grocery delivery services make it much simpler to make healthy choices to feed your family. Unfortunately, with all of the automation in food processing today, and the volume that is being produced, there are more chances for cross-contamination and a higher likelihood that a foodborne illness outbreak will occur. The most recent romaine lettuce E.coli outbreak was a grim reminder of the dangers lurking in prepared produce products. There are several steps you can take to help keep your family safe:
The ultimate way to ensure that your produce is clean and healthy is to grow it yourself! Even if you don’t have a backyard to use, container and indoor gardening has never been more accessible with the affordable products available online today. You can even grow produce hydroponically, with no soil at all!
Locally-sourced produce has gone through less steps to get to you, which means less hands touching the produce, less time spent in transit, and reduced chances of cross-contamination. Local produce is more likely to have been produced on a smaller farm, and though it may not say organic because that distinction is expensive and costly to receive, it may have been grown organically. Ask your farmer’s market about the origins of the produce to be sure.
Store produce physically away from raw meat and other potential contaminants. Make sure produce that is required to be cold is kept cold. When in doubt, refrigerate it!
Beware of cross-contamination
Cross-contamination can occur when preparing produce. Make sure to thoroughly wash hands and clean surfaces before preparing produce. Use separate knives and containers for produce and meat or eggs. Never re-use a surface or container that held raw meat without sanitizing first.
Wash wash wash that produce!
Good old cold running water is one of the best ways to reduce the chances of becoming ill from pathogens that can be found on produce. For an extra layer of protection, try CitroBio Fresh Food Wash. It is effective against contaminants such as E.coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Click here to purchase!