Fresh Produce & Farmers’ Markets – a Great Partnership!

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Johanna Hicks Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Consumer Sciences 1200-B W. Houston P.O.Box 518 Sulphur springs, TX 75483 903-885-3443 – phone 903-439-4909 – Fax jshicks@ag.tamu.edu

Johanna Hicks
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
1200-B W. Houston
P.O.Box 518
Sulphur springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 – phone
903-439-4909 – Fax
[email protected]

Oh, the joy of perusing brightly colored fruits and vegetables at a Farmers’ Market!  These goodies are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and fiber.  The Sunrise market in downtown Sulphur Springs each Saturday is the perfect place to find tasty and colorful foods.  However, there are some safe handling tips  to assure that you protect yourself and your family from food poisoning.  It is important to be consistent in practicing safe food handling once you get home with your produce.

1)      Check: Be sure that the fresh fruits and vegetables you buy are not bruised or damaged.  When choosing pre-cut fruits & vegetables at the grocery store (such as packaged salads and sliced melons), check that the product is refrigerated or on ice.

2)      Rinse:  Just before use, rinse under running water only the fruits and vegetables you plan to eat, including those with skins or rinds that are not eaten.  Firm-skinned fruits and vegetables should be rubbed by hand or scrubbed with a clean brush while rinsing under running tap water.  Packaged fruits & vegetables labeled “ready-to-eat”, “washed”, or “triple washed” should not be washed.  Dry fruits & vegetables with a clean cloth or paper towel.  Do not use soap or bleach.  These products are not intended for consumption.

3)      Chill:  Fresh produce that has been cut should be refrigerated or put on ice within two hours to prevent bacteria growth.  Keep your refrigerator at or below 40°F.

4)      Clean:  Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables.  Clean all surfaces and utensils with hot water and soap, including cutting boards and knives, before and after preparing fresh fruits and vegetables.

5)      Separate:  In your shopping cart and in bags at checkout, separate fresh fruits and vegetables from household chemicals and raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.  When preparing food, keep fresh fruits & vegetables, do not use the same cutting board or utensils without cleaning with hot water and soap before and after preparing fresh fruits and vegetables.

6)      Throw away:  Throw away any fresh fruits and vegetables that have not been refrigerated within two hours of cutting, peeling or cooking.  Remove and throw away bruised or damaged portions of fruits and vegetables when preparing to cook them or before eating them raw.  Throw away any fruits or vegetables that have touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.  If in doubt, throw it out!

For more information on food safety, visit the Partnership for Food Safety website at www.fightbac.org

 

Tomato Recipe Contest

The 2015 Dairy Festival Recipe Contest was cancelled due to low participation, but you still have a chance to enter the 2015 Tomato Festival!  Two contests are being offered:  the Tomato Growing Contest and the Tomato Recipe Contest.  The Tomato Recipe contest is so simple to enter!  Simply bring a prepared dish containing tomatoes (canned, fresh, or frozen) to the City Hall Courtyard between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, along with a copy of the written recipe.

Entries will be judged at 6:00 p.m. with announcement of results at the conclusion of the judging.  Prizes will be awarded for first and second place in each of the three age divisions (12 & under, ages 13 to 18, and ages 19 & up).  Entry classes for the Tomato Recipe Contest are Main dish, Side dish, and salsa/jelly/relish.

While you’re downtown, stake our your spot on the square for the Independence Day Concert and fireworks show to take place later that evening.  What better way to spend a Saturday evening that with good fun, good music and a good fireworks display!

 

Closing Thought

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone – Zig Ziglar

 

Johanna Hicks

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Family & Consumer Sciences

1200-B W. Houston

P.O.Box 518

Sulphur springs, TX 75483

903-885-3443 – phone

903-439-4909 – Fax

[email protected]

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