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.