Produce

Avocados

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 Key Facts Avocados are native to the humid sub-tropical and tropical regions of central and northern South America and never go dormant.  Nearly 90% of avocado production in the United States takes place in California. Avocados are harvested by hand and start to ripen once they are picked from the tree. Commercial food safety practices for avocados have recently been strengthened due to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Avocado Surveillance Sampling Program. Foodborne illnesses associated with avocados are generally due to processed avocados and avocado-containing products such as guacamole.   Read more

Broccoli

Broccoli

Key Facts Broccoli is a member of the mustard family of plants and is closely related to Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi. Several broccoli-related product recalls have been reported, all associated with contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. There are two forms of broccoli: sprouting broccoli, and heading broccoli. Sprouting broccoli is the form most commonly grown in the United States. The U.S. is the 3rd largest producer of broccoli in the world, with California leading in U.S. production (90%). The majority of U.S. broccoli is harvested from mid-October through December, though crops can also be harvested through April. Broccoli Read more

Cantaloupes

Cut cantaloupe on a plate

Cantaloupes are a healthy, low-calorie source of vitamin A (β-Carotene), vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, iron, some dietary fiber, and calcium. However, the complex surface of cantaloupe makes it well suited for harboring pathogens. In recent years, cantaloupe has been the third most common produce item associated with foodborne illness outbreaks. Read more

Carrots

carrots

Carrots are a popular vegetable grown in all 50 states. They are naturally sweet, high in Vitamin A (β-carotene), and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Proper washing, storage, and preservation methods are especially important with carrots since they are root vegetables (grown in soil). Several foodborne illness outbreaks have been associated with carrots and their juice. Read more

Cucumbers

Photo Credit: Stockbyte Florida Fresh

Key Facts The top three countries that imported cucumbers to the United States in 2013 were Mexico (1,144,458,000 Ibs) Canada (215,028,000 lbs) and Honduras (65,244,000 lbs). In 2012, top cucumber producing states, as reported by the United States Department of Agriculture, were Georgia and Florida with 283.5 and 280.8 million pounds, respectively. There are three growing seasons in South Florida for field planted cucumbers; the fall season is from September to October, the winter season is from November to December, and the spring season is from January to March. In the United States from 1998 to 2013, there Read more

Herbs

herbs

Key Facts Introduction Foodborne Outbreaks Production Food Safety Consumption References

Jalapeño Peppers

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Key Facts The majority of the U.S. commercial jalapeño supply is grown in New Mexico, Texas, and California but many small farms throughout the southwest grow peppers for sale to local markets. Jalapeños are also imported to the U.S. and imported peppers were the source of a large Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak in 2008.       Peppers are often an ingredient used in making fresh salsa and guacamole and their role in foodborne illness outbreaks may not have been fully credited in the past. Between 1973 and 2008, 136 salsa- or guacamole-associated outbreaks were reported with over 5600 total Read more

Mushrooms

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Mushrooms provide selenium and vitamins B and D. Of 300 edible species, 30 have been domesticated, and 10 are grown commercially. Wild harvest is the largest source of commercially important species, despite advances in domestication. Food safety issues with edible mushrooms are mostly due to improper food preservation and handling. Read more

Oranges

Orange-Close

Fresh sweet oranges are a low calorie (60 calories per 1 medium peeled orange), nutritious source of vitamin C (120% Daily Value (DV), fiber (12% DV), vitamin A (6% DV), and calcium (6% DV).
Orange juice has been implicated in 10 reported outbreaks, during which 810 persons became ill, in the United States from 1998 through 2012. Read more

Peppers

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Key Facts Introduction Foodborne Outbreaks Production Food Safety Consumption References