Health precautions for farmers’ markets

Health Canada reminds Canadians of food safety tips to keep people safe

Bailey Sutherland, Daily Herald

While shopping at farmers’ markets are a great way to get fresh, local food, Health Canada would like to remind Canadians of some food safety tips to keep you and your family safe this summer.

  • Produce can become contaminated from the field to your table, so make sure to wash all your fruits and vegetables thoroughly under fresh, cool, running water.
  • Always ask the vendor to find out if your milk or cheese has been pasteurized. Consuming raw milk products comes with an increased risk of foodborne illness such as Salmonella, E. coli, or Listeria.
  • Eggs sold at farmers’ markets are not subject to the same food safety standards as graded eggs sold in grocery stores. Make sure to check the eggs for cracks and refrigerate as soon as possible in the coolest section of the fridge.
  • Keep raw meat separate from other items to avoid cross-contamination. Freeze raw poultry and ground beef within one to two days, and all other raw meats in four or five days.
  • Safety tips are not constricted to just food; reusable shopping bags also pose a risk of spreading foodborne illnesses. It is important to wash and care for them properly between grocery runs.

For more information regarding food safety and safe food handling, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips.html.