What is An Approved Source for Restaurants and Grocery Stores?
This means that whole, uncut, fresh produce and eggs from local farmers are considered to be from an approved source and allowed to be offered in New Hampshire restaurants and retail stores.
Offering local fruits and vegetables not only enhances both the restaurant business and the farm/food business but also promotes a healthy diet to consumers. However, fresh produce, like all food products, must be handled safely, regardless of where it comes from to reduce the risks of foodborne illness. Contamination of produce with harmful microorganisms can occur at all stages of production, processing, transportation, storage, preparation, and service. To prevent foodborne illness, fresh produce needs to be handled with care at each step from farm to table. The following are safe handling tips to protect consumers.
Purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged.
Whole, uncut produce may be purchased from local farmers.
Produce that has been cut, sliced, shredded, or otherwise processed should be from suppliers that are under routine inspection from a regulatory authority.
Proper storage of fresh produce can affect both quality and safety.
Store perishable fresh fruits and vegetables (such as strawberries, lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms) in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F or below. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be kept separate from meat, poultry, and seafood products when stored.
When preparing any fresh produce, begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after preparation.
Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing and/or eating. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded.
Wash produce before serving or cutting using either continuously running water or chemical disinfectants, used according to the manufacturer's instructions for recommended concentration and contact time. Note: Do not soak produce or store it in standing water.
Buy eggs only if sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case.
Open the carton and make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked.
Store eggs in their original carton and use them within 3 weeks for best quality.
Wash hands, utensils, equipment, and work surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after they come in contact with eggs and egg-containing foods.
Thorough cooking is perhaps the most important step in making sure eggs are safe.
Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to be sure.
Written by: NH Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Public Health Services
Food Protection Section