Shop Smart at Farmers' Markets

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Shop Smart at Farmers' Markets

Do you enjoy shopping at a Farmers' Market near you? They can offer wonderful opportunities to purchase farm-fresh produce and many local specialties.

But there are some things visitors can do to ensure everyone has a pleasant experience. Follow these tips and enjoy getting to know your local growers and artisans!

~ Handle produce gently to reduce bruising. Bacteria can thrive in the bruised areas.

~When buying cut produce, keep it cold during transport.

~Wash your hands before handling produce.

~Wash all fruits and vegetables with cool running tap water right before eating.

~Don't use dish soap or detergent because the FDA hasn’t approved or labeled these products for use on foods.

~Scrub melons with a brush and running water, because bacteria can be transferred from the outside of the melon to the inside by a knife.

~Cut away any bruised parts before eating. Remove the outer leaves from lettuce and cabbage.

~ Perishable food should spend no more than two hours in the "danger zone" (40 to 140oF).

~Store produce in containers that are free from excess liquid.

~Refrigerate cut produce and use within a few days.

There are a couple Farmers' Markets in south Lake County to enjoy, and they're on different days, so you don't have to miss one to visit another. Downtown Clermont hosts theirs every Sunday from 9 A.M. until 2 P.M. On Fridays, check out the market at Cagan Crossings in the Four Corners area on south Hwy 27, open from 4 P.M. until 8 P.M. There is often live entertainment on market days, so plan to shop and have fun!