Test Your Produce Safety Savvy
Do you have the know-how to make good choices when it comes to produce?
Being healthy includes eating lots of fruits and vegetables, which may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fresh produce also provides essential vitamins and minerals that are important for good health. But beware—harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria can lurk on fruits and vegetables and make you and your family sick.
Take the quiz below and learn about good food safety choices when selecting, storing, and preparing produce.
At the Supermarket
It's important to bag fruits and veggies to keep them separate from meat, poultry, and seafood in your grocery cart.
Precut fruits and vegetables (like pineapple and celery, for example) can be stored anywhere as long as it is sealed tightly.
False. Cut fruits and vegetables should be refrigerated or surrounded by ice.
How produce looks is important – choose fruits and vegetables that aren't bruised or damaged, especially if they won't be cooked.
In Your Kitchen
Bagged, pre-washed produce: To wash or not to wash? If the package says that the contents have been pre-washed, you don’t need to wash it before eating.
It's ok for fruits and veggies to touch raw meat, poultry, and seafood in the fridge, as long as the temperature is at 40°F or below.
False. Keep your fruits and veggies separate because raw meat, poultry, seafood, can spread harmful bacteria to ready-to-eat foods in the fridge. Throw away ready-to-eat produce that has touched raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
You should wash your hands for 20 seconds (or the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice) with water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
It's important to remove visible dirt and wash fruits and vegetables, even the ones you peel, under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking.
It's ok to use the same cutting board for fresh produce and raw meat.
False. You should use one cutting board for fresh produce, and another one for raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
- Page last reviewed: May 27, 2013
- Page last updated: May 27, 2013
- Content source:
- National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs