Canadians consume 50 billion servings of fresh produce annually and the number of outbreaks in a year is relatively low. When you consider how much fresh produce is consumed and the very small number of cases of food borne illness, Canadian consumers can feel confident that overall, fresh produce is safe and healthy.
As with any food product, if fresh produce is not handled properly, there is a risk that it can become contaminated and potentially cause illness. That is why safety programs have been developed throughout the food supply chain, including consumer awareness programs.
Consumers too have a role to play in protecting the safety of their food through proper storage and handling. Examples include:
- keeping fresh produce separate from other items such as fresh meat, poultry or seafood to prevent cross-contamination
- washing your hands when preparing fresh produce
- using different tools (e.g., knives, cutting boards, etc.) with fresh produce than are used to prepare other raw foods
- ensuring tools, surfaces, utensils, dishes, etc. are cleaned properly during preparation and storage of fresh produce