Cleaning and Sanitizing

Adopting good postharvest practices will not only reduce food safety risks, but also contribute to maintaining produce quality and reducing postharvest decay. To understand what risks may be present, an assessment of the packing and produce handling area should be completed. Any surface that the produce touches may serve as a source for contamination. Such surfaces include equipment, belts, rollers, brushes, tables, bins, sinks, tools, and even the hands of workers. Surfaces that contact produce must be able to be easily cleaned and preferably, sanitized.

The University of Tennessee in conjunction with Cornell University and the University of Minnesota created decision trees to help growers assess the risks on their farm, as well as food safety template language, record-keeping logs and sample SOPs that you can download and tailor to your needs.