Locally grown fresh produce is valued by many for its superior taste and health-promoting qualities. However, fresh produce can become contaminated with harmful organisms spread by water, animals, or people. By paying attention to basic principles, growers can greatly reduce the risk of their produce becoming contaminated by common food-borne pathogens, such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and others. Following the guidelines in this publication will help you lower the risk that YOUR produce becomes contaminated and makes someone ill.
Each step of food production presents unique risks for contamination:
- Growing the Crop
- Harvesting and Storage
- Cleaning or Washing Product
- Packaging, Storing & Transporting
- At the Market
Worker health and hygiene are also critical to maintaining food safety throughout the whole production process.
Funding provided through the Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration grant to Iowa State University (IOWN872504) titled “ Ensuring Food Safety Competency of Produce Growers and Processors in the NCR Through Expanded Collaboration with Diversified Populations.”