Safe Food Handling and Storage

Safe Handling and Storage of Raw Fruits and Vegetables
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension presents guidelines for best practices for food safety in handling fresh fruits and vegetables from purchase through consumption. Guidelines include what to look for in purchasing produce, how to store it properly and safely, how to wash produce before preparing it for consumption and how to safely prepare produce for consumption. Find step-by-step details on how to keep fresh fruits and vegetables as a safe part of a healthy diet.

Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension covers food storage guidelines for all types of foods likely to be found in the home including fresh fruits and vegetables. Storage guidelines include temperature and humidity recommendations along with length of time the produce should be held in various packaging methods.

Food Safety Information Service, United States Department of Agriculture
This site has a wealth of information, including “Ask Karen” online database for frequently asked questions; publications regarding food safety; what to do if you have a problem with food products; a food safety guide during severe storms and hurricanes.

Additionally, you can get help with food safety questions through the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-674-6954.

Partnership for Food Safety Education
This site has food safety information and brochures targeting all ages regarding safe handling of foods; safe handling of fresh produce factsheets.

Centers for Disease Control Food Safety
You can find estimates of foodborne illness in the U.S. and how foodborne outbreaks are detected and other food safety information at the first link.  This link has handouts including an infographic on “Steps to Safe and Healthy Fruits & Vegetables”.

Frequently Asked Questions from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
This site includes answers to a variety of questions including how to keep foods safe during a power outage; safety of dented or rusted canned food; and how to understand food product date labels.

Food Preservation Resources

Canning beans workshop; VCE agents training with pressure canners; Renee Boyer (not shown)

Virginia Cooperative Extension Food Preservation Resources
Includes an introduction to resources available through Virginia Cooperative Extension, featuring links to various web sites, and Virginia Cooperative Extension topics and publications.

Virginia Cooperative Extension Food Preservation Publications
Includes canning, freezing, drying, food safety, and food storage guidelines

National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP by CSREES-USDA)
This site provides current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation and is approved by the United States Department of Agriculture.  Includes information on freezing, curing and smoking, fermenting, jams/jellies of many specific food and produce items; highlights seasonal topics for home food preservation; has a Publications tab with factsheets and technical bulletins from USDA, NCHFP, other government agencies and several universities; and Frequently Asked Questions tab for home food preservation methods.

USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning (through the University of Georgia’s National Center for Home Food Preservation)
This link provides downloadable chapters on canning principles and how to can specific produce and meat products.

Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies
“Understanding and managing food allergies”.  See additional resources linked to this page.