Fruits & Vegetables Food Safety

Handling Produce and Produce-Related Illnesses

According to the CDC, foodborne illnesses associated with the consumption of fresh fruits and produce account for approximately 12% of the reported foodborne illnesses in the United States.

The incidence rate for illnesses associated with the consumption of fresh fruits and produce continues to increase, partially due to improved surveillance measures as well as an increase in year long consumer consumption of both domestic and internationally grown fruits and vegetables

EHA's infectious disease epidemiologists and food safety experts have been successful in investigating several of the largest, high visible foodborne outbreaks associated with fruits and vegetables across the United States.

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We can assist you in the following ways:

Our team of food safety consultants have assisted produce operations in the creation of GAP's, "Good Agricultural Practices" and GMP's ""Good Manufacturing Practices" that have improved the handling and manufacturing of fruits and vegetables as a result of past foodborne outbreaks associated with the specific produce items. From the farm environment to the retail environment, our public health experts can assist in the improvement of sanitary conditions that make your facilities a safer environment to grow, pack, process, transport and sell fruit and vegetable items.

To learn more about the microbiological pathogens associated with the consumption of produce please follows our links below:

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Safe Food Practices - Fruit & Vegetables (Produce Safety Tips)

EHA recommends the following safe food practices for preventing foodborne illness associated with the consumption of fruits and vegetables:

  1. Purchase unbruised/undamaged fruits and produce.
  2. Chill and refrigerate processed fruits and vegetables that have been cut or peeled.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly prior to handling.
  4. Wash all fresh fruits thoroughly with warm water.
  5. Wash and sanitize all surfaces that come into contact with fruits and vegetables.
  6. Do not cross contaminate fruits and vegetables with raw meat, fish or poultry.
  7. Use a cooler with ice or ice packs to transport processed fruits.

Learn more about foodborne illnesses and diseases.