June 29, 2006
Media Release

Sizzling summer freshness


NEWMARKET Although there are many health benefits to consuming fresh vegetables and fruits, there have also been incidents of food-borne illnesses and outbreaks, such as Salmonella, associated with them.  To reduce the risk of illness, consider the following:
 
When purchasing fresh vegetables and fruits:
 Choose vegetables and fruits that are not bruised or damaged
 Ensure freshly cut and ready-to-eat vegetables and fruits are displayed in covered containers and under refrigerated conditions or submersed in ice
 Avoid cross-contamination when grocery shopping by separating the fresh vegetables and fruits from raw meats 
 Purchase pasteurized fruit juices
 
When washing and preparing fresh vegetables and fruits:
 Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and liquid soap before handling fresh vegetables and fruits
 Before eating or preparing fresh vegetables and fruits, wash them under cold running water.  For leafy vegetables, gently remove the leaves and wash each leaf under cold running water to remove dirt and debris
 Avoid soap detergents or other chemicals that can become absorbed by the food products during washing
 Use a clean brush to wash the outer firm surfaces of melons, oranges, potatoes and carrots, prior to cutting into them.  If improperly washed, the dirt and micro-organisms on the surface can contaminate the flesh of the fresh vegetables and fruits when cut
 All counter tops, cutting boards and utensils that have been used, should be washed and then sanitized with a chlorine bleach solution (1 teaspoon/5 ml of household chlorine bleach per 4 cups/1 litre of water) and then air dried
 
When storing fresh vegetables and fruits:
 Refrigerate all freshly cut vegetables and fruit
 Discard any freshly cut vegetables and fruit that have been held at room temperature for more than two hours
 
For more information on this or any other health-related questions, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or www.york.ca
 

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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Pager (905) 830-3302
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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