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Blog posts of '2019' 'May'

Produce Food Safety

As the weather warms, we start to get excited about fresh produce, with people starting their gardens and farmer’s markets popping up.

That said, chances are you’ll still purchase some of your produce at the grocery store and, as 2018 taught us, that can be risky. From tainted lettuce to sprouts, produce is an important part of food safety.

In 2015, the FDA enacted The Produce Safety Rule, which federally regulated standards for production, harvest, and handling of fruits and veggies in an effort to prevent contamination that causes foodborne illness. This rule targets worker health, hygiene, and training, water standards, and equipment, tool, and building sanitation.

In spite of this rule, people still get sick from produce, so it’s important to practice your own produce safety.

Follow these tips when purchasing and preparing fresh produce to keep you and your family safe from possible foodborne illnesses.

Inspect Produce Before Purchase

When choosing fresh-cut produce, try to choose items that aren’t damaged or bruised. Also choose items that are stored properly in coolers or surrounded by ice.

Properly Store Produce

Once home and putting away your groceries, be sure to store food properly. Keep all produce, precut or otherwise, refrigerated at temperature of 40°F or lower. Be sure to keep produce separate from raw meat and poultry.

Wash Produce and Surfaces

When you’re ready to use your produce, make sure you’re washing the produce and countertops you’re using to prep them in order to prevent cross-contamination.

Even though it’s an important part, there is so much more to food safety than produce. Check out our Food Handler training to get more in-depth food safety information.

Weddings and Food Allergies

At some point in the wedding planning process, it’s pretty much guaranteed a bride will envision all things that can go wrong. One scenario people tend to overlook is food allergies. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, an estimated 32 million Americans have food allergy, so the chances that someone attending your wedding has a food allergy isn’t far-fetched.

How do you go about planning your big day around food allergies? Here are some active steps you can take to ensure that no one has an allergic reaction at your wedding, and everyone can enjoy your big day.

Educate

The first thing you can do is briefly educate yourself on the various food allergies and sensitivities. You certainly don’t want anyone going hungry because of allergy restrictions. Most of the serious food allergy reactions are caused by 8 major allergens: milk, eggs, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish. Awareness is the first way you can avoid serious health scares at your wedding.

Ask Guest About Their Food Allergies

Include a space for food allergy information on your RSVPs. This is a great way to double check any food restrictions. Your guests will be appreciative, and you’ll have the information you need to make sure no one is left out and no one gets sick. This is especially important if someone has a severe allergy to something and even having it in the air can cause a reaction. The information will help you decide what to serve or put out on tables for snacks and favors.

Have a Seating Chart

Having a seating chart is another great way to handle food allergies. You can plan tables according to allergies. Plus, name cards can have indicators as well. This will also help caterers and servers when it comes to serving the food. A seat chart removes some of the probability of human error. Servers can double check the right food is going to the correct guest.

 

Want to learn more about accommodating food allergies? Check out our Allergen Awareness course.