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Food Safety News

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Farmers Market Suspected Food Poisoning Source

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.

© Food Safety News
  • Doc Mudd

    It isn’t just Iowa.
    Here’s an April, 2010 health department report of findings at a popular New York farmers market:
    “* Your Daily Soup, Ithaca Farmers’ Market, C-Ithaca. Potentially hazardous foods were not kept at or above 140 degrees F during hot holding. Lentil and bean soup were observed at 88-92 degrees F. The products were voluntarily discarded during the inspection. A re-inspection was satisfactory.
    * On the Street Concessions, Ithaca Farmers’ Market, C-Ithaca. Potentially hazardous foods were not kept at or below 45 degrees F during cold holding. Cut pork was observed at 50 degrees F. The product was voluntarily discarded during the inspection. A re-inspection was satisfactory.
    * Emmy’s Organics Kitchen, Ithaca Farmers’ Market, C-Ithaca. Accurate thermometers were not available to evaluate potentially hazardous foods. No probe thermometer was on site at the time of the inspection. Staff was directed to obtain an accurately scaled probe thermometer. A re-inspection was not conducted prior to submission of this report.
    * Asian Taste, Ithaca Farmers’ Market, C-Ithaca. Potentially hazardous foods were not kept at or below 45 degrees F during cold holding. Chicken pieces were observed at 52 degrees F. The product was voluntarily discarded during the inspection. A re-inspection was satisfactory.
    * Osakaya, Ithaca Farmers’ Market, C-Ithaca. Potentially hazardous foods were not kept at or below 45 degrees F. Pre-cooked noodles were observed at 58 degrees F. The product was re-iced for rapid chilling to 45 degrees F or below. A re-inspection was not conducted prior to submission of this report.”
    Bacteria do not discriminate among food sellers or their customers. Unsafe practices cannot be magically rendered safe with romantic or wishful notions of ‘quaint’, ‘local’ or familiar (as in “know your farmer”).

  • Poor hand hygiene is a common issue at these no-water locations. This is a prime application for SaniTwice┬«, a convenient, superior hand cleansing protocol where potable water is scarce or unavailable:http://www.handwashingforlife.com/handsonsystem/sanitwice

  • Poor hand hygiene is a common issue at these no-water locations. This is a prime application for SaniTwice┬«, a convenient, superior hand cleansing protocol where potable water is scarce or unavailable:http://www.handwashingforlife.com/handsonsystem/sanitwice

  • Marymary

    Since handwashing facilities are likely to be nonexistent and refrigeration of the unreliable cooler and ice type, farmers’ markets should be restricted to non-potentially hazardous foods, IMO. On-site preparation of foods also should not be allowed. Please note, local food is not necessarily safe food.

  • We have a solution for refrigeration for vendors at farmers markets, solar powered refrigerators and freezers and solar powered vending carts.