With this guide you will gain quick and easy knowledge on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables

that all clerks should know and customers should ask. In addition, you will be exposed to the basic information necessary to assure the quality and safety of the produce you sell. Our goal is to maintain the highest level of safety for consumers while promoting the sale of fresh produce for better health. The individualized produce pages give an overview of how to store and handle various fruits and vegetables. In addition to the unique but important considerations for each commodity, check marks indicate basic recommended storage tips to abide by. A note on the photos: Understanding when fruits and vegetables are “still good” to be sold is largely based on their outside appearance. There are two photos per commodity page. • • First Photo: The closest to if not the best condition to sell Second Photo: Must be discarded. Is unhealthy for consumers and can cause cross contamination with other produce.

Handling, Storage and Display
Each fruit and vegetable has special needs in terms of handling, storage and display. For specific fruit and vegetables, please refer to the individual produce fact sheets. Here are some basics: • • • • • Certain produce requires more handling care than others Refrigeration temperature and placement varies on the fruit or vegetable Mixing certain fruits and vegetables can lead to over-ripening If it looks bad, it probably is! Discard to prevent cross-contamination Quality and freshness can be prolonged by following a few simple steps

Temperature The temperatures presented per page are the optimal (the best) storage temperatures for each commodity. It is important to pay attention to which commodities need immediate and constant refrigeration and which ones do not. While most require a cool environment at low temperatures, freezing fruits and vegetables is not recommended. Many commodities have optimal temperatures that we know as a “freezing point” (0°C or 32°F). Due to the varying, organic make up fruits and vegetables, freezing temperatures differ per commodity. While refrigeration is one of the best methods of storage, it also slowly causes moisture

loss (dryness) to fruits and vegetables. If possible, keep commodities that lose moisture quickly in areas equipped with special humidifying functions. Pay attention to temperature considerations and come as close as your facility will accommodate, especially for storage purposes. Handling Generally, most produce is fragile and requires careful handling. It is usually not a good idea to throw, toss or stack commodities, as it can cause bruising and other physical damage. Also note that non-visible damage can occur under the skin of some fruits and vegetables. Along with visible physical damage, rough handling leads to the deterioration of the commodity, making it unfit to sell or consume. Storage The most important step in keeping produce healthy is by storing it in the right temperature. For those commodities not requiring refrigeration, the storage area should have good air circulation. Do not store produce in stuffy areas. It is generally not a good idea to store commodities on the floor, especially when wet. This can contribute to mold and affect the safety and quality of the commodity. Other areas that are not acceptable for food storage including produce include the following areas, as noted in chapter 3 of the 2001 Food Code (sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration): • • • • Locker, toilet, garbage, mechanical rooms; Under sewer or water lines; areas where water can drip/leak Under stairwells Other areas that can cause contamination

When produce shipments arrive, they should be unpacked and stored immediately; do not wait to unload and store. Display An important issue to consider is when to discard bad produce. Make it a priority to check produce on display daily. If it looks bad or rotten, or if there are any doubts, discard it. The display area itself should be cleaned often. This includes the bins, containers, and racks used for the commodities. Also included are the refrigerators that display commodities other than produce. Use the rule of “First in, First out” when putting commodities out to sell.

A note on ethylene… Ethylene is a natural chemical found in some fruits and vegetables. It stimulates ripening and can add to over-ripening in some produce. Commodities that generate high amounts can actually affect other nearby produce. Please note that ethylene affects packaged and non-packaged fruit and vegetables the same. This is why it is important to recognize which commodities generate high amounts and which ones are sensitive to it and separate accordingly in storage and display. Commodity Apples Artichoke Asparagus Avocado Banana Blueberry Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Cantaloupe Carrot Cauliflower Celery Chayote Chiles Cilantro Corn Cucumber Eggplant Feijoa Garlic Grapefruit Grapes Green Beans Green Onion Head of Cabbage Head of Lettuce Honey Dew Jicama Kiwi Lemon Lime Mango Mushrooms Nectarines Nopalito Produces Ethylene Yes; High No No Yes; Low Yes; Low Yes; Low No No Yes; Moderate Yes; Low No No No Yes; Low No No Yes; Low Yes; Low No Yes; Low Yes; Low No No No Yes; Low Yes; Low Yes No Yes Yes Yes; Low No Yes; Low Yes; High No Sensitive to Ethylene Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Okra Onion Oranges Packaged Cut Cabbage Packaged Salad Pears Persimmon Potato Radish Raspberry Squash Snap Pea Spinach Strawberries Tomatillos Tomatoes Whole Pineapples Whole Watermelon

Yes; Yes; Yes; Yes;

Low Low Low Low

Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes

Yes; Low Yes, High Yes No No Yes; Low Yes; Low No No Yes; Low Yes; Low Yes; moderate Yes; moderate Yes; Low

Special Handing, Storage, and Display Consideration: Packaged Fruits and Vegetables Packaged fruits and vegetables offer a convenience to the consumer and seemingly less responsibility for the store clerk. However, they actually require special handling, storage and display considerations. Damage to one piece due to improper handling, storage and display can affect the others resulting in faster spoilage of the whole bag. It is important to scan packages and discard those that have rotten pieces. Rotten pieces of produce can also become the new home of insect larvae and pathogens (i.e. bacteria, fungus), which can be harmful if consumed.

Personal Health Issues
Hand washing, and Basic Hygiene
Hand washing Hand washing, if done correctly, is a quick and simple way to help ensure the quality and integrity of the produce offered. Inform employees on the importance of hand washing. Different hand washing methods have varying levels of effectiveness in removing bacteria and viruses. The least effective method is rinsing hands in water. The best method involves rubbing hands together with soap lather and warm water for 20 seconds—the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice. Then wipe clean with a paper towel. Cloth towels retain bacteria from the previous hand wash*.

Wash your hands after: • • • • • • • • Blowing your nose Coughing Sneezing (cover your mouth!) Touching an infected area on your body Eating Drinking Smoking Touching the floor, money, trash containers, etc.

Hygiene Taking care of ourselves and appearance contributes to an overall healthy work environment. In addition to hand washing, there are other simple steps that can be taken to ensure better health and produce handling. • • • • • If you have any open wounds or other skin abrasions, use protective gloves and band-aids. Infection causes food contamination and other health risks If you touch your wound, wash your hands! Do not chew gum Keep your hair back Wear clean clothes and keep a neat appearance

*Hand washing information used with permission from the Iowa State University Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management Extension

Additional Information
The University of California, Davis offers a comprehensive site devoted to postharvest handling and storage of fruits and vegetables. Individualized commodity pages give additional information per commodity. Information available also includes Spanish language materials. http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Produce/Producefacts/index.shtml Sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, this link provides a variety of information ranging from individualized commodity pages to issues regarding grocery store display storage and food safety. http://www.ba.ars.usda.gov/hb66/contents.html Developed by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, the site offers detailed information relating to storage and handling of post harvest commodities. Of particular interest to a retailer is the section on which fruits and vegetables can/cannot be iced for storage. http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/postharvest.html#postharvest The Produce Marketing Association is a not-for-profit global trade association serving more than 2,100 members who market fresh fruits, vegetables, and related products worldwide. Its members are involved in the production, distribution, retail, and foodservice sectors of the industry. Free resources available. http://www.pma.com Created by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, the link provides basic information on food safety and handling to prevent bacteria and food borne illnesses. Included are free downloads and information in Spanish; also offers additional links. http://www.fightbac.org/main.cfm While geared primarily towards on the farm produce handling, this article offers great information relating to produce handling in any setting. Sponsored by Iowa State University Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management Extension. http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM1974B.pdf Chapter 3 of the 2001 Food Code updated 2004, gives information relating to various aspects of food safety. In partnership with the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. http://www.cfsan.fda.gov

Apple
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-1°C (32-34°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Should be free from decay and cuts • Look for firm, shiny skin • Apples are one of the highest ethylene producers

Handling
• Apples bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Artichoke
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-35.6°F) Storage/Display
• Top ice and water sprinkle OK • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival; keep cool

GOOD

Handling
• Artichokes bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

BAD Basic Info
• Should have well formed, tight buds • Avoid wilted and discolored artichokes

Asparagus
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Light water sprinkle OK; display upright in water (stem down) • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Asparagus is a highly perishable commodity • Look for firm tips and straight stalks • Should be dark green in color

Handling
• Asparagus is delicate; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Avocado
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 5-13°C (41-55°F) Storage/Display
• Keep ripe avocados cool; unripe avocados should be kept at room temperature • Unripe and ripe avocados are very sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm, shiny skin

Handling
• Avocados bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Banana
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 13-14°C (56-58°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items

GOOD

Handling
• Bananas bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

BAD Basic Info
• Should have a full shape and be even in color • Some brown spots are OK; darker, more frequent spots indicate rotting flesh

Bell Peppers
YES NO REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 7.5°C (45°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD GOOD

Handling
• Bell Peppers bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

BAD

Basic Info
• Should be free from decay, cracks and cuts • Look for firm, shiny skin

Broccoli
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Light water sprinkle OK • Bottom icing OK • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Yellow heads caused from high temperatures • Look for firm, compact heads

Handling
• Broccoli bruises easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Brussels
Sprout
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Should be bright green and firm

Handling
• Brussels sprouts bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Cantaloupe
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Do not drop containers • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Keep cool for long term storage • Room temperature display OK

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Must be free from decay and cuts • Should be well-shaped and firm

Handling
• Cantaloupe bruises easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Carrot
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Loss of moisture can lead to shriveling

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Should be uniform in shape and color • Look for firm, bright orange skin

Handling
• Carrots bruise and crack easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Cauliflower
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Bottom icing OK • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with brown spots and wilted leaves • Look for firm, compact heads

Handling
• Cauliflower bruises easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Celery
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Top and bottom ice OK • Keep away from commodities with strong odors • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Should be free from decay and cuts • Celery should be firm with healthy leaves

Handling
• Celery cracks easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Chayote
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 7-10°C (45-50°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Keep cool for long term storage • Room temperature display OK

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Should be free from decay • Look for firm skin

Handling
• Chayote punctures easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Chiles
YES NO
REFRIGERATION
(For non-dried chiles)

TEMPERATURE 7-13°C (45-55°F) Storage/Display
• Store away from drafts, including cool and warm air; this leads to shriveling • Keep away from ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items

Pasilla

Serrano

GOOD

Pasilla

Serrano

BAD Basic Info
• Dry lines and striations on skin = hotter pepper, not poor quality • Avoid shriveled or decayed peppers • Should be firm with bright, shiny skin

Handling
• Chiles bruise easily; handle carefully • Bruising can lead to soft spots; soft spots indicate poor quality • Do not drop, toss or roll

Cilantro
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD

Basic Info Handling
• Leaves can snap or bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll • Cilantro is a highly perishable commodity • Yellowed leaves mean poor quality

Corn
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-1.5°C (32-34°F) Storage/Display
• Top ice OK • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Handling
• Corn husks can tear; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Basic Info
• Husks should be green and free from decay

Cucumber
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 13-16°C (55-60°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info

Handling
• Cucumbers bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

• Discard those with broken skins and soft spots • Look for firm, shiny skin

Eggplant
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 10-12°C (50-54°F) Storage/Display
• Keep away from commodities with strong odors • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Eggplants develop soft spots easily; discard those with broken skins • Look for firm, shiny skin

Handling
• Eggplants bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Feijoa
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 7-10°C (45-50°F) Storage/Display
• Separate from heavier items • Keep cool • No water sprinkle necessary

GOOD

Handling
• Handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm skin

Garlic
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 20-30°C (68-86°F) Storage/Display
• Garlic odor can be transferred; store separately • Keep dry; moisture spoils garlic • Can bruise other commodities • Not sensitive to ethylene • Keep in area with good air ventilation and circulation

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Powdery patches under skin indicates decay • Discard shriveled and soft bulbs

Handling
• Do not drop, toss or roll • Do not separate cloves

Grapefruit
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 12-14 °C (54-57°F) GOOD Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items

BAD Basic Info
• Look for firm, round grapefruit with shiny skin • Discard heavily bruised or damaged grapefruits

Handling
• Grapefruits bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Grapes
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 1-2°C (34-36°F) Storage/Display
• Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool and dry • No water sprinkle necessary

GOOD

Handling
• Grapes bruise and fall from the stem easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with mushy, broken skins • Look for firm, shiny skin

Green Beans
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 5-7.5°C (41-45°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info

Handling
• Green beans break easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

• Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm, straight appearance

Green Onion
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Light water sprinkle OK • Produces odor that can affect other fruits/vegetables; separate as necessary • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Green onions are a highly perishable commodity • Look for uniform in shape and color

Handling
• Green onions bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Head of Cabbage
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C – (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Keep cool; do not freeze

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Head should be solid and free from decay • Outside leaves protect inside quality of cabbage

Handling
• Cabbage is fragile; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll • Do not tear outer sheath; this keeps moisture in

Head of Lettuce
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-5°C (32-41°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Keep cool; do not freeze

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Head should be solid and free from decay • Lettuce deteriorates quickly as temperatures rise

Handling
• Lettuce is fragile; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll • Do not tear outer sheath; this keeps moisture in

Honeydew Melon
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 7-10°C (45-50°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Keep in well ventilated area • Can be kept at room temperature for display

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm, shiny skin

Handling
• Honeydew melons bruise and scar easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Jicama
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 12.5-15°C (55-59°F) Storage/Display
• Keep in cool, dry areas to prevent water loss • Separate from heavier items • Higher temperatures cause sprouting and decay • Can be kept at room temperature for display

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm, smooth skin

Handling
• Jicama bruises and scars easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Kiwi
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F)
For long storage

Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Storage temperatures should be cool; can be kept at room temperature for display

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Kiwis develop soft spots easily; discard those with broken skins • Look for uniform shape and color

Handling
• Kiwis bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Lemon
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 3-5°C (37-41°F) Storage/Display
• Do not use top ice or water sprinkle • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD Basic Info

Handling
• Lemons bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

• Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm skin and uniformity in shape and size

Lime
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 10-13°C (50-55°F) Storage/Display
• Do not use top ice or water sprinkle • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD

Basic Info Handling
• Limes bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll • Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm skin and uniformity in shape and size

Mango
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 9-10°C (48-50°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Display at room temperature • For storage keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm skin and uniformity in shape and size

Handling
• Mango bruises and scars easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Mushroom
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-1.5°C (32-35°F) Storage/Display
• Must be kept cool at all times • Keep away from commodities with strong odors • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items

GOOD

Handling Handling

BAD Basic Info
• Discard moldy, slimy and deteriorated mushrooms

• Mushrooms bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Nectarine
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Handling
• Nectarines bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Basic Info
• Should have firm and smooth skin • Remove and discard damaged nectarines

Nopalito
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 7-10°C (45-50°F) Storage/Display
• Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Loss of moisture can lead to shriveling; keep cool

GOOD

BAD Handling
• Nopalito stems can puncture easily; handle carefully • Do not drop or toss

Basic Info
• Should be free from decay • Look for firm, shiny skin

Okra
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 7-10°C (45-50°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Keep cool • Water sprinkle is unnecessary

GOOD

BAD

Handling
• Okra bruises easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Basic Info
• Okra is a highly perishable commodity • Look for uniform shape and size

Onions
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 16-18°C (60-65°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Separate from heavier items • Store in dry area with good ventilation

GOOD

Handling
• Onions bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

BAD

Basic Info
• An onion’s strong odor can be absorbed by other fruit and vegetables • Remove and discard damaged onions

Orange
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 3-8°C (38-46°F) Storage/Display
• Keep in well ventilated areas • Produces a strong odor • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Should be firm with a consistent color • Discard fruit that has a torn peel or that is bruised heavily

Handling
• Oranges bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Packaged Cut Lettuce
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36° F) Storage/Display
• Must be kept cool at all times; especially upon receiving • Keep refrigerated; do not freeze • Separate from heavier items • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables

GOOD

Handling
• Handle carefully • Do not drop or toss • Do not puncture bag

Basic Info
• Packaged lettuce goes bad faster than regular heads of lettuce • Discard if majority of pieces are brown and wilted

BAD

Pear
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) GOOD Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Display stem up to prevent bruising

BAD

Handling
• Pears bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Basic Info
• There should be no cuts to the skin; slight blemishes are OK

Persimmon
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Display at room temperature • For storage keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with broken skins • Look for firm, shiny skin • Color ranges from yellow to orange

Handling
• Persimmons bruise and scar easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Pineapple
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 7-10°C (45-50°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Keep out of damp boxes; this can cause mold and decay • Separate from heavier items

GOOD

Handling
• Pineapples bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Basic Info

BAD

• Pineapples are picked when ripe • Top green leaves = healthy • Top brown leaves = unhealthy

Potato
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 7-10°C (45-55°F) Storage/Display
• May emit an odor affecting other commodities; store accordingly • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Store in a well ventilated, dark, cool place

GOOD

BAD

Handling
• Potatoes bruise and scar easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Basic Info
• Potatoes with dark or black spots are poor quality

Radish
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Top ice and water sprinkle OK • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Discard those with broken skins • Should have firm skin and leaves should be green with no yellowing

Handling
• Handle carefully

• Do not drop, toss or roll

Raspberry
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Keep away from commodities with strong odors • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Raspberries are a highly perishable commodity • Should be firm, not mushy

Handling
• Raspberries bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Snap Pea
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Water sprinkle is unnecessary • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool • Look for bright green and uniformly shaped pods • Green stem indicates quality snap pea

GOOD

BAD Basic Info

Handling
• Snap peas can tear easily; handle carefully • Do not drop or toss

Spinach
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Top ice and water sprinkle OK • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Spinach is a highly perishable commodity • Leaves should be green and free from damage

Handling
• Handle carefully • Do not drop or toss

Squash
(Includes Zucchini)

YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 5-10°C (41-50°F) Storage/Display
• Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items

GOOD

Handling
• Squash bruises easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Basic Info
• Should be firm with a consistent, glossy color • Squash has a very thin skin; it can break easily • Squash is a highly perishable commodity

BAD

Strawberry
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 0-2°C (32-36°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival

GOOD

Handling
• Strawberries bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

BAD Basic Info
• Strawberries are a highly perishable commodity • Remove and discard damaged strawberries from baskets/boxes

Tomatillo
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 5-10°C (41-50°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Separate from heavier items • Rapid cooling recommended upon arrival • Keep cool

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Should be free from decay and firm to the touch • Husks can dry out, but fruit may still be in good condition

Handling
• Tomatillos may bruise; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Tomato
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 13-18°C (55-65°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from heavier items • Store and display stem up to prevent bruising • Do not overload display

GOOD

BAD Basic Info
• Should be well formed, firm, with uniform color; no “green shoulders” • Discard tomatoes with cuts and broken skin

Handling
• Tomatoes bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

Watermelon
YES NO
REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURE 10-15°C (50-59°F) Storage/Display
• Do not stack • Sensitive to ethylene; keep away from moderate to high ethylene producing fruits/vegetables • Separate from items that may cause bruising

GOOD

Handling
• Watermelons bruise easily; handle carefully • Do not drop, toss or roll

BAD Basic Info
• Should be firm, free from cracks, soft spots, and symmetrical

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