Fruits & Vegetables
Canada’s food guide advises to eat one dark green and one orange vegetable every day.
As a consumer there are actions you can take with your fresh fruits and vegetables (guideline) like washing your produce that will limit your exposure to microbial pathogens.
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, fibers and carbohydrates, but occasionally linked to illnesses. Recent high profile outbreaks related to fresh vegetables in recent years include spinach contaminated with E.coli 0157:H7 in 2006, and jalapeno peppers contaminated with Salmonella in 2008. A BC spinach outbreak in 2001 led to the creation of guidelines for growers about the importance of managing water and fertilizer sources (guideline available in English, Cantonese, Punjabi).
What about toxins and other chemicals? In BC, reports of illness are received every year by the Drug and Poison Information Centre from wild mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns. Potatoes can also be a problem with the potential to cause illness from botulism or solanine.
The information on these pages represent the work we do on behalf of the public, industry and government. Some of this information was written for the general public and some was written in technical language for public health.
Food Protection Services phone 604-707-2440
NCC Environmental Health phone 604-829-2551
Poison Control Centre phone 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911
Last Updated: May 16, 2013