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Daily Q&A: Given recent food recalls, can you offer some tips for safely preparing fresh fruits and vegetables?

With the recent recall of Romaine lettuce, just wondering in general what tips can you offer for safely and properly preparing fresh vegetables?

Here are tips from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Safety for fresh vegetable preparation:

• Begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.

• Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded.

• All produce should be thoroughly washed before eating. Wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting, peeling or cooking.

• Many precut, bagged produce items like lettuce are pre-washed. If the package indicates that the contents have been pre-washed, you can use the produce without further washing.

• Washing fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended.

• Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.

• Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that may be present.

For these and other tips for preparing, storing and buying fresh vegetables, visit: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/fruits/tipsfreshprodsafety.html.

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Daily Q&A: Given recent food recalls, can you offer some tips for safely preparing fresh fruits and vegetables? 05/12/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 1:12pm]

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