The farmer’s market is an excellent way to get fresh, locally-grown, and organic fruits and vegetables. For those in and around Puyallup, the Downtown Puyallup Farmers’ Market happening annually from April to mid-October is the perfect time to stock up on high-quality produce. It’s been a beloved tradition for more than 30 years, and it features all the best farm products that Washington has to offer.
After you’ve had your fill of all the wonderful food, crafts, and entertainment, it’s time take your bounty home. As you unload your finds, however, pay attention to how you clean, prepare, and store each one. Puyallup urgent care providers share some advice on food safety in farmer’s markets:
Inspect any food before buying it.
Ensure that the produce you want to buy is not rotten, bruised, or otherwise damaged. Firm fruits like apples should not have very soft spots. Green vegetables should not be wilted or starting to brown. Watch out for signs of decay or rot, and pass on the ones which display any kind of damage.
Always wash the produce you buy.
Regardless if it’s pesticide-free, local, or organic produce, never skip washing your fruits and vegetables. You can also use vegetable washes, but research indicates that water is just as effective. Fruit and vegetables should be carefully cleaned with a vegetable brush. For soft-skinned or leafy produce, rinse them under running water, them use paper towels to pat them dry.
Clean out every bit of soil.
Most of the bacteria or bugs in fresh produce comes from the dirt that’s still clinging to it. This is a natural sight in farmer’s markets like the Downtown Puyallup Farmer’s market, but it should never be allowed in your kitchen. Soak your purchases in water for a couple of minutes. Then scrub out any trace of dirt, spending more time on items with crannies, then give each one a final rinse to make sure no soil is left.
Finally, wash your hands before and after handling produce to prevent cross contamination. These steps will help you stay healthy as you take advantage of all the amazing stuff at Downtown Puyallup Farmer’s Market. You might not always be vigilant about what you eat, however, and foodborne illnesses have ways of making people sick even when you take every precaution. That’s why it’s important to know the contact number of an urgent care provider in Puyallup just in case of emergencies.
Farmers Market Safety Tips, nsf.org