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Food Safety Begins in Your Backyard: Post-Harvest Handling

Posted by | March 30, 2011

Do you know disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites may be lurking on the vegetables you harvested from your garden? Here are things you can do to as you handle and store produce to minimize the risk of foodborne illness:

  • Wash your hands before handling produce. Wash for 20 seconds with warm water and soap. Use a paper towel to dry.
  • When you wash produce, the water temperature should not be more than 10 degrees cooler than the pulp of the fruit or vegetable. Tomatoes, peppers, apples, and potatoes draw water into the stem areas if the water temperature is much lower than the temperature of the produce. If there‚Äôs a disease-causing microbe on the produce or in the water, it may be drawn inside.

For more information about gardening, contact the Master Gardeners at your local Extension office.