How to Handle Produce Safely
- Discard any produce (fresh fruits and vegetables) that is slimy, mouldy or that smells off.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water before and after handling produce.
- Wash all produce just before cutting, peeling or eating even if the outer rind is not being eaten. Washing is necessary as any bacteria on the outside can be transferred to the inside when an item is cut or peeled.
- Soap, chlorine bleach and vinegar can leave residues and should not be used when washing produce.
- Use a vegetable scrub brush when washing produce with rough surfaces such as cantaloupe, potatoes and squash.
- Discard outer layers of lettuce, cabbage and other leafy vegetables.
- Leafy green or dense vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts should be soaked in water to dislodge dirt. Follow by rinsing thoroughly under cool running water.
- Do not return washed produce to its original packaging.
- Use a clean cutting board and a clean knife for cutting produce; wash the cutting board and knife with hot, soapy water after using.
- All cut fruits and vegetables must be refrigerated.