AJAR.id – Hello Ajarian! Fruit and vegetables are not high-risk foods when they are still intact with natural skins attached and uncut. They can be chilled to extend their lifespan. As with all food processing the temperature needs to be contained when the food has been cut.
Fruit and vegetables are able to sit in rooms at ambient temperature while they are still intact. Once they are cut, they must be chilled and held in controlled environment until required. To keep chilled food safe, minimal amounts are taken out of controlled environment at any one time. Only remove what can be processed in a specific time period. Raw vegetables and fruit are not confined by the 2/4-hour rule.
All food handlers are responsible to minimize the possibility of food becoming contaminated while being processed. Therefore, as a first step you always need to make sure that your hands are clean. It is advised to wash hands when:
- Changing of jobs
- After handling boxes that fruit and vegetables come to the kitchen
- Before handling cut fruit and vegetables
- After handling any cut and raw foods
- Keep high-risk foods separated
- Do not mix raw and cooked foods.
Before any processing is done on any fruit and vegetables food handlers must ensure that the product is clean. Free of any soil, foreign objects and pests.
Care needs to be taken when cutting all fruit and vegetables that any equipment used is clean and free of foreign matter. Raw fruit and vegetables are not high-risk foods, cut or uncut.
When cut it is a requirement that precautions are taken to reduce possibility of fruit and vegetables becoming contaminated with foreign objects and pest infestation:
- Place into a clean container and cover to protect
- Chilling will help to extend life and slow any fermentation that will begin when sugars are exposed to the air after cutting.
As a food handler, you need to ensure that the clothing that they are will not contaminate the food that they are handling. Make sure to wear clean clothes everyday, you are also required tp clean protective clothing every day or as needed. Lastly, keep up the personal hygiene by taking a shower or bathe in daily basis prior going to work.
Read also: Preparing Fruits and Vegetables in the Kitchen
Nurturing You to Grow®
Written by: Alan Hickman, Garry Blackburn
Subject Matter: Prepare and store food