Here are some food safety tips to help keep you and your family safe while supporting your local farmers and producers.
Produce : fresh produce can become contaminated in the field through contact with soil, contaminated water, wild or domestic animals, or improperly composted manure.
- Before eating fruits and vegetables, wash them thoroughly under fresh, cool, running water, even if you plan to peel them.
Milk and cheeses : consuming raw or unpasteurized milk and cheese products comes with an increased risk of foodborne illness, as the products have not been processed to eliminate harmful bacteria.
- Ask the vendor, or read the label, to find out if the milk or cheese has been pasteurized.
Eggs : eggs sold at farmers’ markets and farm stalls are not subject to the same food safety standards as graded eggs sold in grocery stores.
- Inspect eggs to make sure they aren’t cracked. Dangerous bacteria can enter a cracked egg.
Meat and poultry : raw meat and poultry may contain harmful bacteria, so it is important to keep it separate from other items to avoid cross-contamination.
- Store raw meat in the refrigerator immediately after you return home.
Bags and Bins : your reusable baskets, bins and bags can also spread foodborne illnesses, so it’s important to wash and care for them properly.
- Machine-wash your cloth bags frequently. Plastic baskets, plastic bins and reusable grocery bags that aren’t machine-washable should be washed using hot soapy water or sanitized with a mild bleach solution on a regular basis.
For more tips, see the Health Canada Information Update.
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