Food safety begins on the farm. With the growing number of fresh fruits and vegetables for sale at farms and farmers markets, the University of Illinois extension is offering workshops to make sure the food you buy is safe to eat.
Most of the fresh produce they grow is eaten raw. Recent produce-associated foodborne illness outbreaks have heightened public awareness of produce food safety and increased the demand by fresh produce buyers to have third party auditors verify farm food safety practices.
The extension office held a good agriculture practices workshop in Belvidere. The goal is to keep fresh fruit and vegetable producers competitive in the marketplace.
"Keep people healthy, increase the competitiveness of produce that is grown in Illinois. And if we don't do it, and Michigan is doing it, then the chef's in Chicago they're going to buy it from Michigan," said James Theury with the U. of I extension office.
Extension agents say they want to keep food borne illnesses to a minimum.
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