The resources on this page are intended to advance your understanding of food safety for produce in child nutrition operations. School Nutrition professionals with particular interest in this topic are encouraged to sign up through their State Agencies to attend Produce Safety University, a week-long immersion course offered by USDA.
Fresh produce provides many nutritional benefits, but it must be handled safely to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Harmful bacteria residing in soil or water may come into contact with fresh produce at any point during the plant’s growth, harvest, processing, transportation, storage, preparation, or service. Fresh produce that is served raw does not go through a cooking step to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present before it is served to students, and, therefore has the potential to cause a foodborne illness.