Food Safety for Home Gardeners

Increasingly, foodborne illness outbreaks are being traced to lettuce, tomatoes, cantaloupe and other raw fruits and vegetables. Most foodborne illness is caused by the disease-causing bacteria, viruses, molds and/or parasites found on raw produce that is not carefully grown, harvested, stored or prepared. These microorganisms are a natural part of the environment and can be a problem whether organic or conventional gardening methods are used.The overall purpose of the program is to integrate Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) into food safety principles for all home gardening activities from garden to table – preparing the soil, harvesting, washing, storing and handling.