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Food Safe Handling of Fruits and Vegetables

Jan 12, 2018

Food Safe Handling of Fruits and Vegetables
Food Safe Handling of Fruits and Vegetables | Credit: Jakub Kapusnak

Safe handling of fresh fruits and vegetables

Nutritionists advise us to eat plenty of fruits and fresh vegetables if we want to reap maximum benefit out of our food. But it is a known fact that throughout its journey from farm to kitchen it is affected by bacteria, viruses, and parasites and both adults and children fall ill due to contamination.

We give you a few suggestions on how to make fruits and vegetables healthy before serving your family.

While buying

Never buy fruits and vegetables that are cut or have slight bruises. Cut vegetables ready for cooking or consumption in pillow packing should be checked for decay.

Purchase only what you need.

At Home

Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling fresh produce, or seafood or raw meat.

Clean them under running, drinking water before peeling, cutting or eating.

Vegetables with a rough peel can be cleaned with a brush.

Do not wash fruits and vegetables with bleach or soaps as it can get absorbed into the product and change the taste.

Wax coatings are used on some fruits and vegetables to keep moisture and keep good quality. These coatings are safe to eat.

Moisture makes a favourable conditions for pathogens to grow. So before refrigeration, dry the vegetables and fruits.

While storing in refrigerator, the temperature is an important factor to consider. Freezer temperature should be 0 to 4 Celsius. For storing meat, temperature should be -16 degrees Celsius.

Store vegetables and fruits separately. There should be different shelves provided for storing vegetables and fruits.

If all the produce are not used in a single meal, wash the amount needed.

Certain packaged fruits and vegetables may have undergone double or triple washing and these can be eaten as it .

Most fruits and vegetables may have small amount of pesticides in them when they are brought from market but these are soluble in water thus by washing they can be removed.

Since fruits and vegetables are very absorbent and will absorb any detergent or bleach used to wash them, never use them for cleaning.

One should also be careful while washing cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with water and sanitize them after cutting vegetables and raw meat. Use clean cutting boards and utensils and separate ones for raw meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables. .