Health Canada Releases New Series of Fact Sheets on the Safe Handling of Fresh Produce

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updated 6:58 a.m. PT, Mon., March. 9, 2009

OTTAWA, ONTARIO - Health Canada has launched a new series of fact sheets on the safe handling of fresh produce to help Canadians reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

The fact sheets, which provide practical tips for Canadians on how to choose, handle and store fruits and vegetables, focus on those types of fresh produce that are most often associated with foodborne illnesses in Canada.

Fresh fruits and vegetables do not naturally contain microorganisms (i.e., bacteria, parasites or viruses) that can make you sick. However, fresh produce can become contaminated with harmful microorganisms while in the field or through improper handling, storage or transportation during or after harvest.

Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide recommends Canadians eat a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. But, as with any food, it is important that fresh produce be handled and stored properly to reduce the chances of becoming sick. It is estimated that every year, 11 to 13 million Canadians suffer from foodborne illness.

For more information on Fresh Produce Safety, please visit Health Canada's website (

- Melons (

- Tomatoes (

- Fresh Herbs (

- Leafy Greens (

- Mushrooms (

Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's Be Food Safe ( Canada Campaign

Egalement disponible en francais

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