Safe Food Handling of Fruits and Vegetables

Here are some suggestions for handling fresh fruits and vegetables safely.

  • Begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
  • Cut away damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing and/or eating. Produce that looks damaged or rotted should be discarded.
  • All produce should be thoroughly washed under running water before eating. This includes produce grown conventionally or organically at home or produce that is purchased from a grocery store or farmer’s market.
  • Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first.
  • Washing fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended.
  • Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
  • Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that may be present.

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