Summer farmers’ markets are in full swing, and shoppers might want to consider some basic food safety with their purchases.
A growing number of Americans are turning to local farmers’ markets for produce. However, Barb Ingham with UW Extension says being grown locally doesn’t necessarily guarantee crops are completely safe. She says many illnesses from food-borne pathogens are tied to produce, and some simple efforts can keep you safe.
Ingham says the biggest step to eating well is to thoroughly clean any produce you bring home by rinsing it with cold water. She says you should avoid using soaps or diluted bleach, which can leave residues or soak into fruits and vegetables. Most products can be cleaned just before eating, but be sure to dry them off before storing any leftovers.
Ingham says it’s also important not to delay too long in getting your purchases home. If you’re not heading home right away, she suggests heading to the market with a cooler full of ice to keep produce and other purchases fresh.
Unless you plan to can or freeze produce, Ingham says you should avoid buying more than your family can eat in a week.