We brought you a story last week about the beef E. coli recall. This week we have a warning for you about your Farmer’s Market foods.
According to a new study by Consumer Reports, you may be trying to shop fresh and local, but you may also be putting your health at risk. There are more than 8700 Farmer’s Markets, according to Consumer Reports, that are registered with the Department of Agriculture. However shopping at a Farmer’s Market does pose some risk.
Sana Mujahid a Consumer Reports Safety Scientist says that, “Foods sold at Farmer’s Markets can definitely still present foodborne dangers, including dangerous bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and listeria.”
The report advises that you only buy items like milk cheeses and apple ciders that have been pasteurized. This is particularly true for women who are pregnant as these can cause certain food-borne illnesses that pose a danger to an unborn child. Also young children and those adults who may have a compromised immune system or other chronic illness should also be wary of the foods that are bought at a farmers market.
There are some things that you can do to take precaution and ensure the food you buy from the Farmer’s Market to protect your family from any kind of foodborne illnesses and bacteria. One suggestion is that you bring multiple bags and keep your prepared foods separate from raw meat, eggs and other foods that can cause cross-contamination.
The report also advises that you buy only from vendors who are wearing gloves while handling foods that don’t have any kind of Packaging.
Any refrigerated items should be kept cold. One way you can do this is to bring a an insulated bag and cold pack or cooler with ice. These Foods need to be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit in order to remain safe for consumption. Says Mujahid, “If certain foods sit at temperatures warmer than that, bacteria can grow pretty quickly.”
He advises that you wait to buy foods that are perishable and could spoil last as you are leaving the Farmer’s Market. This is your best bet is to keep yourself in your family safe.
Lastly, the report says that no matter regardless of where you decide to shop whether it be a farmers market for a grocery store that you active duty be at home this means washing all of your fresh vegetables including those you peel like oranges, grapefruits and bananas.
There are safe, green, organic fruit and veggie washes available at most supermarkets. Also, make sure that you are washing the skins of melons, cantaloupes, honeydew and cucumbers because when you cut them, bacteria can’t enter into the the part that you eat.
Do you have Farmer’s Market Safety Tips or a comment? Tell us what you think in the comments below or contact us for more information! Feel free to shoot us an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, LinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website!
About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!