With the recent rise of recalls in restaurants this year, there’s no wonder why operators and chefs want to ensure their produce and meat stays fresh. Recalls disrupt not only business and sales, but reputations and your bottom line. While there are dozens of steps to take along the supply chain line to keep your fruits and vegetables healthy and away from contamination, we’ve helped narrow down a few quick and easy steps you can take to ensure your fruits and vegetables are safer to ear-from distribution to your tables.
Check for Bruises
- Choose fruits and vegetables that are free of bruises or damaged spots, unless you plan to cook them.
- Store fruits and vegetables away from, and not next to or below, raw meat, poultry, or seafood. These items can drip juices that may have germs.
- Use a separate cutting board for fruits and vegetables that is never used for cutting or preparing raw meats, poultry, or seafood.
- Wash cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with hot, soapy water before and after preparing fruits and vegetables.
- Separate fruits and vegetables from raw meat, poultry, and seafood in your storage and deliveries.
- Get fruits and vegetables unloaded and in the refrigerator in 2 hours or less.
- Refrigerate cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables as soon as possible, or within 2 hours. Refrigerate within 1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90°F.
- Use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the temperature stays at 40°F or below.
Keep Pre-cut Fruits and Vegetables Cold
- Choose pre-cut and packaged fruits and vegetables that are refrigerated or kept on ice.
- Wash your hands before and after preparing fruits and vegetables.
- Wash or scrub all fruits and vegetables under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking.
- Fruits and vegetables labeled “prewashed” do not need to be washed.