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Food Safety Begins in Your Backyard: Harvesting Your Produce

Posted by | March 30, 2011

Are you ready to harvest the vegetables from your garden? Commercial growers follow Good Agriculture Practices to reduce and minimize the risk of foodborne illness during harvesting. Whether practiced on a 500 acre farm or your backyard garden, there are several things you can do to ensure food safety during harvesting.

  • Wash your hands before you harvest produce. If you use gloves, use clean gloves. Gloves used for weeding or composting may have harmful microbes or chemical residues.
  • Remove excess soil from produce before you bring it into your kitchen.
  • Always use containers to gather produce that have been cleaned and sanitized. They should be food grade and be used only for food storage.

For more information about gardening, contact the Master Gardeners at your local Extension office. They provide research-based, environmentally friendly advice about gardening practices.