Safe harvest on the heels of irrigation and rain - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Safe harvest on the heels of irrigation and rain

Irrigation and rain could cause bacteria growth on fresh produce, according to research. (Source: WAFF) Irrigation and rain could cause bacteria growth on fresh produce, according to research. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

We all love fresh produce, but nowadays you have to think twice before putting anything on your plate - especially after findings from new research linking rain and irrigation to foodborne illnesses. 

Master Farmer Mary Lou McNabb, with training from Cornell University, agrees that irrigation and rain could cause bacteria growth on fresh produce.

The study was conducted on several fields in New York State, where McNabb says manure is an excellent source for fertilizer that is more readily accessible for farmers in the north. 

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McNabb said the findings shouldn't delay homegrown produce in Alabama, since local farmers know to compost any manure they use here, which is loaded with bacteria.  

"We get some pretty severe rain storms every now and then, and that would splash a lot of soil up, and fertilizer of whatever kind you're using," McNabb. 

McNabb suggests shopping at your local farmer's market for fresh produce, and be sure to wash everything no matter where you got it.

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