You Should Know

July 2010 Issue

Fresh Tips for Enjoying Safe Produce this Summer and Beyond

Not so long ago, your biggest food safety worries lingered over undercooked hamburgers and egg salad at a picnic. But recent foodborne illness breakouts have made us painfully aware that it can occur just as easily in fresh produce. Between 1973 and 1997, the Centers for Disease Control reported 190 produce-associated outbreaks involving 16,058 illnesses and eight deaths. From 1997 to 2002, the number of reported outbreaks increased to 279, involving 10,533 illnesses and seven deaths. The Food and Drug Administration identified five groups responsible for most produce-associated outbreaks: cantaloupes, lettuce and leafy greens, tomatoes, green onions, and herbs.

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