In an article titled, "Better Safe Than Sorry" for US News and World Report, nancy Shute highlighted food safety efforts being made by a Washington farmer, and focused on what consumers can do in their own homes to protect themselves from foodborne illness.
Andrew Stout’s farm in Carnation, Wash., is one of the most successful small organic farms in the country. Each week, Full Circle Farm delivers fresh lettuce, green peas, spring garlic, and spinach to 17 farmers’ markets in the Seattle area, as well as to dozens of restaurants and retailers, including Whole Foods Market. Some 2,400 boxes of produce a week go out to families who have bought a share in the farm’s riches. His customers are counting on getting freshness and taste-and also on Stout’s care when it comes to hygiene. "Bacteria exists everywhere," he says. So he keeps the manure pile away from the packing shed, tests the water used to irrigate and wash vegetables, and keeps an eye on his workers to be sure they wash their hands. "I’m a food provider," he says. "You want to do the absolute best that you can."
US News followed up the article with a list of foodborne illness outbreaks beginning in 1971.
Meanwhile, CBS 3 out of Philadelphia ran a story with a focus on home food safety, emphasizing the importance of washing fruits and vegetables before eating them, or even cutting into them – as in the case of cantaloupe and other melons. Below is some of their food safety advice:
"It’s really important to wash fruits and vegetables of all kinds before you cut into them even if you’re not going to eat the rind. This cantaloupe grew pretty close to the ground so it could have picked up bacteria from the soil that could be on the surface. As you pull a knife though it, you’re going to drag bacteria that’s on the outside, in to the inside if you haven’t washed it off first," said Sharon Franke from The Good Housekeeping Institute.
If you like leftovers, keep them in the refrigerator for no more than 4 days, then toss them. When you’re cooking food, use a food thermometer to determine its internal temperature.