Author Archives: Marisa Bunning

Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers.

Key Facts Bell peppers (Capsicum annuum), also known as sweet peppers, are popular culinary items but, unlike other pepper varieties, have a low heat rating. Peppers add a distinctive taste and range of color to a wide variety of recipes from numerous cultures. The United States produces an impressive amount 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 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

Jalapeño Peppers

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 SalmonellaSaintpaul outbreak in 2008. Peppers Read more

Mushrooms

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

Pomegranates

Key Facts Due to high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, potassium, folic acid, and iron, pomegranates are frequently categorized as ‘superfoods’. The interior of the pomegranate is segmented by membranous walls into compartments packed with red, pink, or white flavorful, pulp-filled sacs (arils). Ready-to-eat arils in plastic cups have become popular Read more

Potatoes

potatoes

Key Facts The potato is the top non-grain food crop in the world (following corn, wheat, and rice) and the number one vegetable crop in the U.S. Native to South America, potatoes have been cultivated for many centuries and belong to the Solanaceae family. Potatoes are an important source of several nutrients, Read more

Strawberries

Strawberries are grown in every state in the U.S. and almost every country in the world. They are an excellent source of nutrients and are a great addition to a healthy diet. Strawberries have been associated with several foodborne illnesses highlighting the importance of following recommended food safety practices from the farm to the table. Read more

Watermelon

Watermelons stacked together

  Key Facts Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, cantaloupes, and other melons This annual fruit crop has a smooth green rind; the flesh is most commonly red but may be yellow or orange Watermelon can be seeded or seedless, hybrid or Read more