Food Safety

Food safety refers to the whole process of handling the preparation and storage of most foods to prevent one from getting ill. Every stage entails safe food handling practices to prevent the risk of harming the consumers. The farmers market is often the most commonplace that most people prefer to get their foods. This is mainly because it offers freshness and opportunities to buy and support the locals.

Often, vendors in the open are exposed to various contaminants such as germs, bugs, and certain pollutants. However, it is important to be mindful when buying different foods especially fruits, vegetables, and meats (Behnke, Seo, & Miller, 2012).  Most of the farmer’s markets have their own safety rules that they have to follow, however; there are some basic guidelines that one has to follow. Farmer’s market is the best to get fresh, quality, and locally enquired foods.

On food safety, both the vendors and the consumers should adequately take part to enquire that the way they handle the food is safe. All vendors handling foods should frequently wash their hands and wear gloves while handling the food to avoid contamination (Behnke, Seo, & Miller, 2012). Gloves are worn as a secondary precaution to protect the foods from being contaminated with food-borne pathogens.

Vegetables

  1. While handling fruits and vegetables, consumers should be encouraged to follow proper hygiene practices.
  2. Washing hands before handling produce would reduce the spread of germs to the fruits and vegetables.
  3. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly cleaned before consumption. Cleaning in clean running water before storage, eating, or cooking will reduce the risk of illnesses
  4. Avoid buying vegetables that Have holes in them, insects, or cuts in them. Those could be a good breeding place for bacteria to hide and spread in the vegetable later on.
  5. Store vegetables accordingly in storage containers.

Meat

  1. Vendors should secret a section for a display to prevent cross-contamination by separating them from other foods.
  2. Refrigerate pork immediately once reached home. Meats pose a threat of declining quality when left out for a long time.
  3. Separate meat with all other ready-to-eat foods so that the juices from the meat are not exposed to the other foods. Meat may contain some harmful bacteria that may be harmful when eaten raw

Cheese

Cheese is generally considered a safe food however; it still posed a risk of contamination caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Below are the steps to ensure food safety:

  1. Avoid buying soft cheese or raw milk since they would carry bacteria such as Salmonella. Should one buy soft cheese, they should ensure that it is made from pasteurized milk.
  2. Ensuring that the milk is pasteurized before making a purchase.
  3. Ensure the cheese and the milk is properly stored

When visiting the farmers market, there some steps of food safety I would follow.

Before buying any food products, one should be mindful of the vendor’s booth management approaches. Maintaining proper cleanliness when handling food will prevent the risk of contaminating also on the foods (Behnke, Seo & Miller, 2012). In the same vein, foods and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before storage and cooking to reduce the risk of contamination

 

 

References

Behnke, C., Seo, S., & Miller, K. (2012). Assessing food safety practices in farmers’ markets. Food Protection Trends, 32(5), 232-239.

Indicators of Food Safety Performance: A Review. (2020). Retrieved 27 May 2021, from https://www.agrilinks.org/sites/default/files/media/file/EatSafe-Review%20of%20Measures%20and%20Indicators%20for%20Food%20Safety%20Performance-FINAL.pdf

Yu, H., Gibson, K. E., Wright, K. G., Neal, J. A., & Sirsat, S. A. (2017). Food safety and food quality perceptions of farmers’ market consumers in the United States. Food Control, 79, 266-271.

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