Fruit and vegetables should be an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. Consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will provide the most health benefits and protection against disease.
Raw fruit and vegetables are great for our health but they can be contaminated from the soil they are grown in or by people handling them before they have been purchased. The recent outbreak associated with salad greens highlights the necessity to ensure all fruits and vegetables are handled correctly.
Tips for safe handling of all fruits and vegetables include:
- Check the quality of fresh produce from the supplier to ensure that it is clean, undamaged and fresh. Damaged produce can allow pathogens to enter the product.
- Throw away outer leaves of leafy vegetable like lettuces, cabbage before washing.
- Brush off any visible soil from vegetables and wash under running water and dry any fruit or vegetables just before you use them. If you wash them and then store them they may begin to grow moulds.
- After handling visibly dirty vegetables, like potatoes with soil on them, food handlers should ensure they wash their hands, knife and chopping board before handling other food.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables before use especially if consuming them raw.
- Once whole fruit and vegetables are cut up they should be covered and stored in the fridge.
- Discard cut up fruit after two to three days in the fridge.
- Always wash hands before handling and preparing food.
Food Safety Update Food Act 2006 Qld Health