Avoid getting sick from produce
MILWAUKEE - Could the produce you are eating be making you sick?
It might be if you are not careful about how you buy, store, or serve it.
This is the time of year when many of us are enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables from a number of sources like our gardens, farmers markets, and the produce departments of a local stores.
Although most of the produce we are buying is safe and nutritious, some of it is not.
Keep in mind, some of these items could have been exposed to bacteria either in the growing, display, or storage process.
When buying produce, steer clear of items that appear bruised or damaged.
If you plan to purchase pre-cut fruits or vegetables, make sure that the items are properly packaged, and refrigerated, or packed in ice.
When bagging these items, avoid cross contamination by packing produce in a clean, separate bag, away from dairy and meat.
It is equally important to store and prepare fruits and vegetables properly.
Make sure to use refrigeration when needed, and to thoroughly inspect and wash these items before you eat them.
If you notice bruising or damage, either trim this away or err on the side of caution and throw it away.
It is also a good idea to stay alert to any warnings or recalls.
Despite efforts to keep produce safe before it is sold, there have been cases of salmonella, listeria, or other hazards that have affected some of these products and resulted in recalls.
For more information on recalls or how to buy, store and serve raw produce, go to fda.gov.