How to Keep your Fruits and Veggies Safe and Healthy
Fruits and vegetables are my personal favorites, with their sweet tastes, high fiber, and water content, and their vitamin and mineral-richness, they definitely should be in every body’s grocery list. Fruits and vegetables, no doubt, keep us healthy and safe from a number of diseases, however, they may also transmit a number of diseases in certain situations.
How Fruits and Vegetables Become Contaminated?
There are many sources of contamination of fruits and vegetables – from the farms down to your kitchen. After harvesting from the farms, most fruits and vegetables are often contaminated through contact with soil, manure, and livestock wastes. In addition, improper handling and storage of fruits and vegetables can predispose to bacterial growth in these foods. , these products may be contaminated by germs from other foods such as meat in a grocery cart.
It is, therefore, important for people to wash their fruits and vegetables before consuming them, to rid them of these potential contaminants.
Safety Tips for Buying and Cleaning Fruits and Vegetables
Keeping your fruits and vegetables safe begins in the grocery store. Below are tips to help you keep these items safe and healthy, from the point of buying to consumption:
- Go to the farms early to increase your chances of getting fresh produce.
- Avoid buying packaged fruits and vegetables
- Avoid produce with mold, cuts, and bruises because harmful bacteria can harbor bruised and damaged areas of fruits and vegetables.
- Select a small amount that will be consumed within a week. Buying large amounts may increase the risk of spoilage and contamination of the foods.
- Purchase produce that is in season, when possible.
- Avoid mixing fruits and vegetables with meat, poultry, and seafood in your shopping cart.
- Immediately store the produce that needs refrigeration, such as apples, cucumbers, and berries to prevent spoilage.
- Refrigerate your fresh produce within two hours of cutting.
- Dispose of cooked vegetables after three to four days.
- Discard left-over cut produce left at room temperature for longer than two hours.
- Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables with cool running water before use.
- Cut away cut, bruised, and damaged areas of the fruit and vegetable.
- Wash produce before cutting to avoid introducing germs from the knife to the fruit or vegetable.
- Dry clean your fruits and vegetables with a clean towel
- Avoid using the same cutting boards for meats and fruits/vegetables.
While fruits and vegetables provide healthy nutrition for people of all ages, they may become conduits for infections and diseases if not properly handled or stored. Next time you go grocery shopping, ensure you keep these tips at the back of your mind to get the most of fruits and vegetables.