In a recent study, the FDA released findings that they believe the amount of pesticides in the produce industry does not pose a significant health threat to the general population. On the other side of the pond, the European Food Safety Authority is looking into the links between pesticides and certain forms of cancer. While pesticides on the fruits in your vegetables may fall outside of the rules for ServSafe MN, it is still an issue that food service management professionals should take a close look at.
ServSafe MN and Pesticides
This topic can create a lot of questions and often spark a heated debate. While we may not have the space to cover every aspect of this issue, we’d like to at least touch on some of the highlights and give some tips on how to prevent your customers from ingesting potentially dangerous pesticides.
Just because the average levels of pesticide in our produce may not pose a health threat that does not mean that every grower uses a safe level of chemical pesticides. It is important to source your fruits and vegetables from reliable sources that you feel are responsible and are focused on keeping their food safe to eat. A popular strategy for many restaurants and food production facilities is to only use locally sourced, organic produce. If you have ever been in charge of your company’s budget, you may be aware that this can be an incredibly costly choice. You should also consider that organic growers can use certain natural pesticides and still label their product as organic.
No matter where you decide to purchase your produce from, you should still take steps to ensure that your customers’ food remains untainted from pesticides or other contaminates. It is important to take the time to do a quick inspection of your produce once it is delivered. You may not be able to see pesticides, but if any of your produce has any unusual residue on it, it may have been treated at some point. Once you have inspected your produce, it is usually a good practice to make sure you know which produce items are shelf stable and which are not. If you have produce that is best kept under refrigeration stored at room temperature, there is a chance that any chemicals on the surface could seep into the flesh of your produce items. Finally, always rinse and allow your produce to fully dry before serving. The propulsion of the water will wash off any unseen soil or pesticides and be safer to eat than unwashed fruits or vegetables.
How do you choose to keep your guests safe from man-made chemicals on your produce? Do you rely only on washing, or do you prefer to order from organic farms?