Fruits and veggies are essential components of a balanced diet. Fresh produce in the local markets is plentiful and healthy. However, hazardous germs that may be present in the soil or water where produce is grown might taint fruits and veggies. In addition, fresh produce can become tainted after being collected, for example, during preservation or preparation.
Foodborne sickness, also known as “food poisoning,” can result from eating contaminated produce. So, while you’re enjoying local vegetables, keep these helpful safety tips in mind to keep you and your family safe.
Making informed purchasing selections can help keep products safe.
- Select the only product that isn’t visibly bruised.
- When buying pre-cut, bagged, or packed vegetables, look for refrigerated products or covered by ice, such as half a cantaloupe or bagged salad greens.
- When collecting fruits and vegetables to take home from the market, keep them away from raw chicken, meat, and shellfish.
Fresh vegetable storage can have an impact on both safety and quality.
- Refrigerate vulnerable fruits and vegetables (such as berries, strawberries, herbs, mushrooms, tomatoes, and lettuce) at a minimum of 40°F (4.4°C) in the cleanest refrigerator you can manage. It wouldn’t hurt to check the temperature using a refrigerator thermometer! Inquire with your grocer if any of the items you purchased should be refrigerated or frozen immediately.
- Store all pre-cut or packaged produce in the refrigerator.
Can Berries Be Kept Out of The Fridge?
How long can you keep fresh fruit at room temperature? Most whole, fresh fruits can be left out at room temperature for at least a day without losing quality, and many fruits can be kept unrefrigerated for up to a week. On the other hand, cut-up or sliced fruit will only be kept for around 2 hours if you intend to keep them at room temperature.
It’s crucial to know how long specific fresh fruits may lie out and remain safe to consume, whether you’re stashing apples for a fast, nutritious snack or taking other fruits on a road trip.
Fresh berries aren’t supposed to be kept for long periods. Leave them out for a few days and savor them. Ascertain that you’ve washed your hands before touching any food. Specifically, farmers aren’t too keen on keeping berries and other fruits in the fridge for too long. They’re great believers in just consuming the fruits you purchased the soonest (preferably within the day).
How Long Can Blueberries Be Out of The Refrigerator?
If you bought fresh blueberries from the farmer’s market and you’re not smacked in the middle of a sweltering summer month, you can keep your fruits for a whole day outside the refrigerator without encountering any real issues. However, if you purchase frozen blueberries, you can’t let the blueberries thaw out even if they are cold. The reason for this is that any pathogens leftover on the surface of the frozen blueberries will double or even triple inactivity the moment they wake up. This is why thawed food from the freezer needs to be cooked or consumed ASAP. You can’t refreeze these things either because once you melt them, the bacteria will be back with a vengeance. You mustn’t give these pathogens even the slightest chance of giving you foodborne illnesses, so it’s best to consume your blueberries before they go bad. Alternatively, you can just put the leftover blueberries if you have no plans of eating more for the day.
Are Blueberries Good If Left Out Overnight?
It all depends on how much time had elapsed from when the blueberries were carried away from more ideal storage conditions to your home conditions. As a rule of thumb, any fruit that’s been left out for 24 hours should be inspected for signs of spoiling. On the other hand, if you have cut fruit or vegetables, that should be consumed within two hours of being taken out of the refrigerator. There is no chance that cut fruit will be safe to eat after 24 hours of exposure outside the fridge. It’s going to be a huge gamble, and we think it’s not worth it because you can already get seriously sick from consuming berries that have spoilt.
How Long Do Strawberries Last Outside the Fridge?
The general rule for whole fruits applies to strawberries. If you bought fresh strawberries from a market, you could probably keep them at room temperature for no more than twenty-four hours. Beyond this range, you have to examine these very closely if there are no signs of spoiling. It will help if you become mindful of what your fruits look like because that’s how you avoid getting sick from bad food.
Below are some additional guidelines for handling produce:
- Between preparing shellfish, poultry, and raw meat and prepping other products that do not need to be cooked anymore, remember to wash your cutting boards, utensils, plates, and counters with hot water and some soap.
- Use separate chopping boards for each class of food.
- If you’re using non-porous boards, remember to put them in the dishwasher every time you use them.
- Before consuming or prepping vegetables and fresh fruits, be mindful of cutting away any bruised or damaged regions. Any produce that seems to be decaying should be discarded immediately.
- Before cooking and eating any produce, wash each item well under running water, whether produced at home or purchased at a grocery shop or farmers’ market. We do not recommend washing any edible item with detergent or soap. Why? Because organic produce has porous structures. They absorb stuff from the environment.
- Despite careful rinsing, household cleaners and soap can be absorbed by veggies and fruits. The chemicals in these soaps can make you sick. Furthermore, the safety of residues from commercial produce washes is unknown, and their efficacy has not been shown.
- Even if you don’t intend to consume the skin, it’s still a good idea to wash vegetables first to avoid transferring dirt and bacteria from the surface while peeling or cutting them.
- With a clean brush, scrub hard vegetables like cucumbers and melons.
- To further minimize bacteria on the surface of the produce, dry it with a clean cloth towel or paper towel after washing.