Essential Fruit & Vegetable Safety Tips

Essential Fruit & Vegetable Safety Tips

Taking food safety seriously reduces the likelihood of getting food poisoning and other food-borne illnesses when cooking delicious meals. The recent hepatitis A outbreak caused by frozen strawberries shows how easy it is for fruit and vegetables to be contaminated. With 24% of Americans using fruit and veggies in their cooking daily, you must know how to store and prepare them safely.

Know when you should and shouldn’t refrigerate

Refrigerating fresh fruit and vegetables often keeps them fresher for longer. This means you don’t have to shop so often for ingredients to make your favorite meals. But some items don’t belong in the fridge, including apples, bananas, mangoes, melons, peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplants, and onions. When storing fruits and veggies in your refrigerator, keep them away from raw meat, poultry, and seafood as these could contaminate your fresh produce. If you buy frozen fruit and vegetables, put them in your freezer as quickly as possible after buying them. Any fruit or vegetable that has completely thawed and has warmed up, shouldn’t be refrozen due to the risk of bacteria.

Protect them from pests

It’s estimated that 50% of all fruit and vegetables produced are thrown away each year. Often, this is because pests have gotten to them and spoiled them. Fruit flies are a common issue as they love the sugar in fruit. They also like organic material that’s found in damp areas, such as your kitchen cloths, sponges, the sink, and the drain. Keep fruit flies away by keeping your kitchen as dry as possible. Mosquitoes, ticks, and rodents are also common in kitchens as they find fruit and vegetables appealing. Any items that are kept in a fruit bowl or vegetable basket should be covered, to stop pests from infesting your food.

Always wash them

The good news is that you don’t need to wash fruit and vegetables that have been pre-washed. The packaging will say whether it’s been washed or not. All other produce should be washed before eating. Failing to wash them could put you at risk of consuming bacteria or pesticides. Washing fruit and veggies is simple as all you need to do is wash them under running water. A scrubbing brush is handy for stubborn dirt found on food such as potatoes. There’s no need to use soap or any other detergent on them. 

Know what not to eat

You need to be able to recognize when fruit and vegetables have gone past their best and should be thrown away. You shouldn’t taste them to find out, though, as if it is bad, you’ll put bacteria into your mouth. A bad smell, discoloration, mold, and wrinkly peel or skin are signs that fruit and veggies shouldn’t be eaten. If there’s just one small part that’s gone bad, it’s safe to cut it off and use the rest of it in the recipe you’re making.

Fruit and vegetables should be enjoyed in lots of different recipes. To make sure your next meal is a safe and tasty one, take a little time to store and prepare your fresh produce properly.

Article Contributed by Cindy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top