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How to Have Your Tomatoes, and Eat Them, Too
Date:6/13/2008

should follow the usual recommendations:

  • Don't buy or eat tomatoes that look damaged; for example, if the skin of a tomato is broken or the tomato is spoiled, the tomato should be thrown out.
  • Stored tomatoes should not come in contact with raw meat, poultry, or eggs.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water before handling tomatoes.
  • Wash tomatoes thoroughly under running water. Don't wash tomatoes in a tub or sink filled with water.
  • When finished washing a tomato, cut out the scar where the stem was, and throw it away.
  • Never cut a fresh tomato until it has been thoroughly washed.
  • Cut the tomato on a clean cutting board, using clean utensils. Don't let the tomato come in contact with other raw foods, including raw meat, poultry, and eggs, or the surfaces they have touched. Wash cutting boards and utensils in between each different type of food that is cut.
  • Refrigerate fresh, cut tomatoes (or products made from them, such as salsa) at 41 F or less. (Note: Refrigeration will not kill salmonella.)
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water after preparing the tomatoes.

The FDA does not recommend using any kinds of detergents to wash fresh produce, because it is not yet known if their residues are harmful to humans.

More information

The FDA also has an excellent section on its Web site that shows you the best methods for handling raw produce.



-- Barry Hoffman



SOURCE: June 13, 2008, news release, U.S. Food and Drug Administration


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