Mary Ann's Blog

Beware Eating Food

Well, here we go again; eating food can be dangerous for us! First the romaine lettuce scare and now the latest threat is from one of my favorite foods, avocado. It seems that it is a harbinger for listeria as well.

I have always tried to be careful about the foods I buy and how I store, wash and prepare them at home. In the case of lettuce, for the most part I am spoiled because I grow it at home but in the winter months I seek out the farmers markets and if I must buy it in a supermarket, I try to get it before it is sprayed to death by misting hoses, leaving it soggy, soft and ripe for bacteria. For avocadoes, I wash them in sudsy hot water before I peel them; same thing for pineapple and cantaloupe; be sure to look that no cracks appear on the rind. I wash all berries in hot water and I know that this does not eliminate all the bacteria that could still be lurking there but it does help. For meats, poultry and fish and shellfish, keep separate plastic mats for preparing them and wash your hands and cooking surfaces well. Stock up on plastic gloves and use them when handling raw meats or poultry. Pay attention to the expiration dates on what you are buying. Be sure to refrigerate perishable foods as soon as you bring them home. Those leftovers from two weeks ago in the back of your refrigerator, should be tossed. Just taking a few extra steps can help avoid food contamination.


  1. Regina Hofer's avatar

    Regina Hofer

    Thanks so much Mary Ann! As I always say, you are our teacher- not just making food with little or no explanation. Wishing you and your husband a very Happy New Year!
  2. Paula's avatar


    You would cringe at the food questions on some of these Italian cooking Facebook groups. One left their pot of sauce out for TWO days and still asked if it was ok to eat. Scarey part is a LOT of people commented 'yes'... with so many wrong reasons why....
  3. Patti Fortuna's avatar

    Patti Fortuna

    You are the most knowledgeable person I know about “all” foods. Thank you
  4. Terry Mercede's avatar

    Terry Mercede

    Our Mother brought us up to wash everything very well ,and to wash our hands ,whenever , handling any type of food. In fact ,I wash my salad green, and all vegetables , and everything before I peel it. Also, I wash my hands without even realising that I am dong it after I touch meat, chicken, fish, and eggs.

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!