Visiting your local farmers market: Keep those eggs chilled

The Montrose Farmers’ Market.

Food for Thought

Tip of the week

Safety tips for visiting your local farmers market

Farmers markets are a great place to find the freshest fruits, vegetables and protein available in your area, but while many are open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to be mindful of food safety.

Most markets have their own food safety rules that vendors must comply with, as well as related government regulations, but markets can be exposed to contaminants such as dirt, bugs and pollutants. Sites also often have little access to water for hand and product washing, and electricity for refrigeration.

Here are a few guidelines you should follow if you’re planning a trip to your local farmers market, according to Tennessee State University:

• Pay attention to the vendor’s food safety practices as you shop.

• Check the stands’ overall cleanliness including gloves and clean utensils for food handling.

• Take time to talk to and learn from vendors. Many vendors are eager to talk about their growing methods.

Eggs

• Eggs should be properly chilled at 40 degrees. Do not let them stay at room temperature.

• Make sure eggs are clean and shells are not cracked.

Fruits and vegetables

• Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking. Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel to eliminate bacteria.

• Wash produce even if you plan to peel it before eating.

Milk and cheeses

• Only buy pasteurized milk products. If it is labeled “For animal use only,” it has not been pasteurized.

Meat

• Meat should be kept in closed coolers with adequate amounts of ice.

• Perishables must be refrigerated within 2 hours, so bring an insulated bag or cooler with you to keep meat cool.

• Separate meat from other ready-to-eat foods.

Drink

Airlines suspend alcohol services

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple airlines are suspending all or part of their alcohol drinks services.

Delta Airlines is not serving alcohol on domestic flights or within the Americas, while international flights will still serve beer, wine and spirits. American Airlines is limiting food and drink service based on the length of the flight and destination.

Fun Fact

Coffee beans

If you chew on roasted coffee beans, it can help prevent the bacteria that cause bad breath.

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