Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. But it’s important to select and prepare them safely.
Sometimes, raw fruits and vegetables contain harmful germs that can make you and your family sick, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. CDC estimates that germs on fresh produce cause a large percentage of foodborne illnesses in the United States.
Follow these safe handling tips consistently to protect yourself and your family when you enjoy fresh produce, and fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices.
BAC Fighters: Health & Food Safety Educators
Tasteless, colorless and odorless — some microorganisms found in raw fresh foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, can cause food poisoning. Food poisoning disproportionately affects our most vulnerable populations — including young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.
There are simple things consumers can do at home to reduce the risk of food poisoning linked to fresh fruits and vegetables. Use these free, colorful materials to help you teach safe produce-handling practices that make everyone a ProducePro!
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- Check Produce for signs of cuts or bruising where harmful bacteria can breed! #FoodSafety
- #ProducePro Tip: Only buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables—like packaged salads and sliced melons—that are refrigerated or on ice. #FoodSafety
- Don’t forget to wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables. #FoodSafety
- Remember, prevent contamination when preparing produce by keeping hands, surfaces, and utensils clean.
- Just before use, rinse the fruits and vegetables you plan to eat—including those with skins or rinds that are not eaten—under running water.
- Did you know you have to wash produce with skins or rinds even if you peel it off before eating? #FoodSafety
- Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables by hand or scrub with a clean brush while rinsing under running tap water. #FoodSafety
- ProducePro Tip: DO NOT use soap or bleach to wash fresh fruits or vegetables. These products are not intended for consumption. #FoodSafety
- In your shopping cart and in bags at checkout, separate fresh fruits and vegetables from household chemicals and raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
- Keep fresh fruits and vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs in your refrigerator. #FoodSafety
- When preparing food, keep fresh fruits and vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. Do not use the same cutting board or utensils without cleaning with hot water and soap before and after preparing fresh fruits and vegetables
- Throw away fresh produce that has touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs, or if it hasn’t been refrigerated within two hours of cutting, peeling or cooking.
- Throw away bruised or damaged portions of produce. #FoodSafety
- If in doubt, THROW IT OUT! #FoodSafety #ProducePro
We enjoy one of the safest supplies of fresh produce in the world. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks. Eating contaminated produce (or fruit and vegetable juices made from contaminated produce) can lead to food poisoning.
Help customers to become ProducePros and give them the knowledge they need to consistently practice basic safe handling and hand hygiene when preparing fresh produce at home. From helpful handouts to simple signage, discover a wealth of tools for your customers that you can add your store logo to!