Grow Safe Food in Your Garden

Tips and Resources for Home Gardeners

Gardening at home is rewarding and relaxing. The benefits include beautifying your space, and producing some of your own food. Locally grown food, consumed in-season is a favorite among many consumers. All home gardeners should practice food safety in growing and preparing fruits and vegetables grown at home.

Increasingly, foodborne illness outbreaks are being traced to lettuce, tomatoes, cantaloupe and other raw fruits and vegetables. Most foodborne illness is caused by the bacteria, viruses, molds and parasites (or pathogens), found on raw produce that is not carefully washed or prepared. Many of these can make you sick. These microorganisms are a natural part of the environment and can be a problem whether you choose to use organic or conventional gardening methods. It is also possible to get sick from contamination of produce with chemicals such as cleaning solutions, fertilizers, pesticides, and heavy metals (lead) and other chemicals that may be found in garden soil or well water.

basil in a growing container