Campus News

Clean melon rinds before slicing

Outbreaks of listeria monocytogenes are commonly linked to deli meats, hot dogs and soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. Recent deaths and illnesses in the U.S. have added fresh cantaloupes from Colorado to that list. Washing produce won’t guarantee it’s free of pathogens, but it will help, says Elizabeth Andress, a food safety specialist  with the Cooperative Extension. To reduce the risk of eating contaminated produce:
• Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after preparing fresh produce.
• Wash all produce before eating and don’t use soap or detergent.
• Wash produce even if you plan to peel it.
• Scrub firm produce, like melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
• Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel.
• Remove damaged or bruised areas on fruits and vegetables. And, throw rotten-looking produce away.