Fresh fruit, like many other foods, can pose a risk if not prepared or stored properly. All fruits need to be washed to remove dirt and germs.
Fruits such as oranges, apples, lemons, and pineapple are higher in acid and are not as potentially dangerous. Cut melons, however, can allow bacteria to grow. Care must be taken when preparing melons for eating, sampling, or retail sale to prevent possible contamination and growth of germs.
Follow these steps to keep your melons fresh and safe
Before Cutting Melon
- Place the melon(s) in a refrigerator until the internal temperature of the melon is 41°F or less.
- Wash your hands and sanitize your cutting surface and knife. (Use a sanitizing solution of 1 teaspoon of 5.25% bleach per 1 gallon of cool water.)
- Wash the outer surface of the melon with drinking water to remove dirt and germs.
After Cutting Melon
- Store the slices at 41°F or less in a refrigerator and or with ice. If keeping melons cold with ice, bury them in the ice so none of the melon is above the level of the ice.
- Do not display melons on top of the ice; they will not stay cold enough.
- Use a stem-type thermometer to check the internal temperature of the melon(s).
- Fruits should be stored above and away from all meats to prevent cross contamination.