Open fruit or vegetable bar food safety considerations

Be aware of the cleanliness of your fruit and vegetables.

Many people are aware of the need to wash all fresh fruit and vegetables before they are cut or consumed without further processing. Have you been able to come up with a plan to clean a fruit or vegetable purchased at a food mart/gas station? It is a challenging topic to consider.

Generally, when people stop at a food mart/convenience store or gas station they are getting more than fruit or vegetables. So after you get your gas or use a restroom and have washed your hands, there are always snacks available. In recent years, these types of stores are stocking healthier snacks. You are looking over the fruit bar and notice that the fruit or vegetables are not covered in plastic wrap. You should now be faced with a dilemma. Do you purchase the fruit or vegetable and struggle to clean it? Or leave it behind and purchase a less healthy snack that is wrapped?

If you purchase any fruit or vegetable make sure you wash it with clean water before consuming it. If you are traveling and want to purchase a fresh food item, be careful not to pick up or handle more than the items you plan to eat. This will lower the germs you pick up or deposit on your fruit and the remaining fruit. Place the fruit or vegetable in a bag to limit further contact with possible germs. Make the final purchase and put your change away. If there are staff that are kitchen help, request they wash your fruit or vegetables and place them in a clean bag so you can consume them as you travel.

Remember just like washing hands it is best to use potable running water to clean fresh fruit and vegetables before cutting, peeling, processing or consuming. Michigan State University Extension  recommends that you wash all fresh fruits and vegetables just before you peel, eat fresh or cook those fresh food items. Don’t hesitate to choose a healthy snack when possible just be food safety wise and wash before you consume.

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