The Iowa Department of Public Health recently announced that the agency is investigating more than 10 illnesses that may be related to a freshly prepared fruit and vegetable product sold at a farmers market in east-central Iowa.
The health department issued the following advice to consumers who buy fresh produce from farmers markets:
* Be aware that any freshly prepared fruit or vegetable product, such as hummus, salsa, cut fruit salad, and guacamole can be a potential health risk if not handled correctly.
* All these products must be kept refrigerated, both before and after the sale.
When shopping at a farmers market, always remember:
* Only buy products from vendors who keep freshly prepared fruit and vegetable products cold, either in refrigerator units or on ice.
* Once purchased, keep freshly prepared fruit and vegetable products cold. If you plan to spend a lot of time at the market, bring a cooler or ice pack for storage.
* When you arrive home, place these products immediately in the refrigerator and eat within days.
* Any freshly prepared fruit or vegetable product that is not properly refrigerated should not be eaten, and should be discarded.