This set of informational sheets focuses on the safe
production and handling of a variety of Colorado grown specialty produce crops
sold directly to vendors and/or consumers in their raw form. These
consumer-friendly, down-loadable fact sheets include articles on nutrition,
safe food handling, seasonality, selection, history, preservation, and
recommended storage guidelines that can be used to help promote the following
selected specialty crops: apples, berries, broccoli, cantaloupe, peaches,
peppers, potatoes, spinach, squash, and tomatoes.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of
foodborne illness outbreaks associated with fresh fruits and vegetables,
affecting the health of millions of consumers and resulting in negative impacts
on the produce industry. Leafy greens, melons, tomatoes, and peppers are
examples of crops that have recently been involved in high-profile foodborne
illness outbreaks. Specific information on the safe production and handling of
produce crops sold fresh could help decrease the risk of contamination and
prevent future outbreaks.
The current situation in our food supply counteracts health messages regarding the benefits associated with increased fruit and vegetable consumption. To maintain confidence in the farm-to-table food supply, the science-based commodity information presented in this booklet can help educate producers, buyers, and consumers on food safety risks and proper handling methods to provide a safe, wholesome meal.