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Be Cautious with Improperly Handled Food!

Even if it’s recently harvested, that doesn’t guarantee its safety.

While you’re choosing fresh fruits and vegetables at the store for your upcoming meals and snacks, it’s advisable to carefully examine the produce or the packaging they come in, if applicable. During the journey from the farm to the store shelves, there is a lot of handling and transportation involved. Despite the efforts of producers to maintain the safety of their products, sometimes things can slip through the cracks.

In 2019, there was a widespread recall of certain types of fresh vegetables due to a potential listeria contamination. Situations like this can be unsettling for both distributors and consumers. The company responsible for the contamination, Growers Express, was unable to determine the exact cause. They conducted tests on their produce, and unexpectedly found viral particles. Their only course of action was to recall the vegetables and conduct a thorough cleaning of the facility.

Credit: Unsplash

On the consumer side, the contaminated vegetables did not display any visible signs of spoilage, meaning many people might have unknowingly exposed themselves to listeria if they did not hear about the recall. Listeria is a bacterial infection commonly found in improperly processed foods, such as deli meats or inadequately pasteurized milk. For most individuals, listeria infection leads to symptoms resembling food poisoning, such as nausea, muscle pain, and diarrhea. While it is usually not life-threatening, it can pose a greater risk to pregnant women, elderly individuals, and those with weakened immune systems.

Although it’s essential to include fresh vegetables in your diet whenever possible, consuming fresh produce also demands a degree of caution. Always check the expiration dates on vegetable packaging, and make sure to thoroughly wash and clean any produce you buy. Staying informed about potential produce recalls is also a good practice.

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