Food Safety at San Jose Farmer’s Markets

Posted by on October 13, 2011 with 0 Comments

Shopping at San Jose and Bay Area farmer’s market is a great way to get locally-grown, fresh fruit, vegetables, and other foods for you and your family. Hell, it’s actually one of the perks I love about living in this area.

As these markets grow in popularity, I’ve been getting questions about the food safety aspects of these markets. Here are few  food safety rules to keep in mind when shopping at your local farmer’s market.

Produce

Before and after preparing fresh produce, wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap.

Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking.

Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first. Any bacteria present on the outside of items like melons can be transferred to the inside when you cut or peel them.

Be sure to refrigerate cut or peeled fruits and vegetables within two hours after preparation.

Juices and Ciders

Check to see whether the juice or cider has been treated (pasteurized) to kill harmful bacteria. Pregnant women, children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems should drink only pasteurized or treated juice. For more information

Milk and Cheeses

Don’t buy milk at a farmer’s market unless you can confirm that it has been pasteurized. Raw milk can harbor dangerous microorganisms, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, that can pose serious health risks to you and your family.

Pregnant women, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for illness caused by Listeria. One source for this bacteria is soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk. If you buy soft cheese (including feta, Brie, queso blanco, queso fresco, and panela), check the label to make sure that it’s made from pasteurized or treated milk.

Eggs

Make sure that eggs are held at the proper temperature before you buy them at a farmer’s market.THe FDA requires that untreated shell eggs must be stored and displayed at 45°F.

Before buying eggs, open the carton and make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked.

Meat

Make sure that the meat is held at the proper temperature at the market

Filed Under: General Food Safety

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