Keeping Fresh Produce Safe – What Caregivers Need to Know


Caregiver in Smithtown NY

Many family caregivers know the importance of serving plenty of fruits and vegetables to their elderly loved ones.  Serving fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure that your loved one gets all Caregiver-in-Smithtown-NYof the essential nutrients that they need.  Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help your loved one to stay healthy, prevent illnesses, and feel great.  One thing that is important for caregivers to keep in mind when serving fruits and vegetables, however, is food safety.  Read on for some helpful tips for keeping fresh produce safe and avoiding food borne illness.


Inspect Before Buying

Be sure not to buy produce that has bruises or any damage.  Inspect the peels of the fruits and vegetables that you plan to buy and make sure that it is not opened or broken.    Try to buy fruits and vegetables that are ripe but not overripe, so that they will last several days before going bad.


Keep it Separate

Do not store your fresh fruits and vegetables near raw meats and poultry.  Use a separate shelf or drawer in your loved one’s refrigerator that is designated only for the produce.  In the grocery store, bag your produce and don’t allow it to touch any raw meats or poultry that you will be purchasing.  Similarly, when preparing your produce, use a cutting board that is only used for produce, not for meat.


Refrigerate Perishable Produce

Some produce such as potatoes or bananas can be left out at room temperature.  Other produce is perishable and should be stored in the refrigerator.  Some examples of perishable produce are lettuce, strawberries, mushrooms, and herbs.  In addition, pre-cut fruits and vegetables that are purchased from the grocery store should also be stored in the refrigerator.


Always Wash Hands

No matter what type of food you are preparing, it is essential to wash your hands before you start and cutting/preparing produce is no exception.  Good hand washing can help to prevent many food-borne illnesses.


Wash Produce

It is always a good idea to wash your produce under fresh, running water before preparing it or serving it.  Even if you plan to peel it or cook it before serving it, it is still necessary to wash it first.  Hard fruits and vegetables like melons, potatoes, and cucumbers can be scrubbed with a produce brush.


If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Smithtown, NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions. Serving all of Long Island. Call today: (631) 319-3961



Jennifer Benjamin
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