September is National Food Safety Education Month. Food safety affects all diets and is a crucial, though often overlooked part of a healthy diet. Although many potentially hazardous foods (PHF) are of animal origin, any food can be implicated in a food borne illness outbreak if mishandled. To help prevent a food borne illness outbreak with foods of plant origin remember these simple rules.
- Check for and avoid purchasing damaged produce. Damaged produce is more likely to be contaminated.
- Clean produce immediately before preparing or serving and keep food preparation surfaces clean.
- Separate produce from other potentially hazardous foods (such as raw meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, etc.)when shopping, storing, or preparing.
- Cook or throw out any produce that touches certain potentially hazardous foods.
- Chill any cut and prepared produce within two hours.
- Throw out any unrefrigerated, cut produce; damaged or decaying produce; or produce that has touched potentially hazardous foods and cannot be cooked or cleaned.