With summer comes exciting picnic plans, barbecue get-togethers and many other fun ways that allows us to bask in nature. But while enjoying this serene period, you must not forget the importance of food safety.

This article is especially geared towards the common practice of outright blending frozen fruits to make smoothies without first cooking them. Experts are raising awareness of the potential dangers that accompany consuming frozen foods without first cooking them.

This process is called blanching and it is simply using heat to eliminate harmful microbes that may linger on fruits. It's very easy to do and takes only a few minutes to do:

  • Bring a pot of water to boil
  • Place the fruits in it for about 2 minutes
  • Remove the fruits and run them under cold water or ice
  • Freeze again

Rest assured that this process will not change the flavor of your smoothies. It'll simply get rid of harmful microbes like hepatitis A and norovirus which are commonly found on fruits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that norovirus is one of the Top 5 germs in the U.S. that cause illness from food consumption. The others are Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter and Staphylococcus aureus.

Do your part, spread awareness! Some 48 million people get sick annually in the U.S. from foodborne disease, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.

Remember, health is wealth!