How farmers' market vendors keep veggies, meat, milk safe to eat

Amanda Ferguson # State

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- With at least a dozen cases of E. coli in Knox County, food safety may be at the top of your mind.

"I just like to put in all the hard work to grow it all week and bring it out here on Saturday, and just to see someone pick something up you've grown, and see how nice it is, it's fun,"
said Charlie Zavels of Zavels Family Farms.

Many East Tennesseans spending time at farmers' markets, picking out fresh vegetables, milk and meats from area vendors.

Farmers like Zavels said they pick their vegetables the day before coming out to Market Square on Saturdays, but how safe are the meats you're buying?

"Our meat, we have it done at USDA packing house, so it's all USDA inspected,"
Zavels said.
"I just keep it in my freezer, so it's all safe to eat."

The goal is giving folks natural and nutritious food. From the farm to your table, you can help in keeping your food fresh.

"Keep it refrigerated, keep it cold,"
said Dee Mounts of Mounts Family Farm.
"No matter what it is, whether it's the meat, the eggs, or the milk, if it gets warm that increases the chance of bacteria growing."

It's a family affair meeting the people who grow what you feed your family.

"Choosing local farmers and just getting to know them, having face-to-face interactions; you feel better about doing that for sure,"
said Olivia Parton, who bought food Saturday at the Market Square Farmers' Market.

If you'd like more information about farmers' markets, click here .