UC Publications on Postharvest Handling
A selection of publications focusing on postharvest control of microbial decay and spoilage. The emphasis of these publications is on disinfection of edible horticultural crops and guidelines for controlling Listeria monocytogenes.
- Assessment of General RPC Cleanliness As Delivered for Use in Packing and Distribution of Fresh Produce - Final Report (Trevor Suslow, UC Davis, Oct. 2014, PDF 724 KB)
- Guidelines for Controlling Listeria monocytogenes in Small- to Medium-Scale Packing and Fresh-Cut Operations (UCANR, PDF 98 KB) The goal of this publication is to offer guidelines for monitoring and minimizing the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in an agricultural packing operation and minimizing the possibility of its presence in the final food product, whether sold as a raw agricultural product or uncooked minimally processed vegetable.
- Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) for Water Disinfection Monitoring, Control, and Documentation (UCANR, PDF 168 KB)
- Ozone Applications for Postharvest Disinfection of Edible Horticultural Crops (UCANR, PDF 177 KB)
The basic properties of ozone and its use in produce disinfection are discussed in this publication.
- Making Sense of Rules Governing Chlorine Contact in Postharvest Handling of Organic Produce (UCANR, PDF 163 KB)
- Postharvest Chlorination: Basic Properties and Key Points for Effective Disinfection (UCANR, PDF 76 KB)
- Postharvest Handling for Organic Crops (UCANR, PDF 100 KB)
- Postharvest Resources (Community Alliance with Family Farmers
- Cleaning and Sanitizing Farm Tools and Equipment (New Mexico State University)
- Establishing Lot Size through Sanitation Clean Breaks in Produce Packing Facilities (University of Florida IFAS Extension, B. Chapman and M.D. Danyluk, PDF 76 KB)
Commodity-Specific Postharvest Food Safety Resources
- Outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with common berries, 1983 through 2019 (University of Florida Extension, PDF 979 KB)
- Survival of foodborne pathogens on berries (University of Florida Extension, PDF 158 KB)
- Fresh-Cut: Draft Guidance for Industry: Guide to Minimize Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-cut Produce (FDA) (as PDF 447 KB)
- Garlic: Impact of storage temperatures and modified atmospheres on quality of fresh-peeled garlic cloves (Tanamati et. al, 2016)
- Juices: Outbreaks of foodborne disease associated with fruit and vegetable juices, 1922-2019 (University of Florida Extension, PDF 1.4 MB)
- Tomatoes: Growth, Reduction, and Survival of Bacteria on Tomatoes (University of Florida Extension, PDF 969 KB)
- Melons: Growth, Reduction, and Survival of Bacteria on Melon Types (University of Florida Extension, PDF 2.2 MB)
- Harvest Container Cleaning (Food Safety Clearinghouse) This resource document outlines the steps of cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces and offers examples of policy and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) statements that you can adapt to write a harvest container policy for your farm that is in compliance with Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and the FSMA PSR.
- Introduction to Selecting an EPA-Labeled Sanitizer (Produce Safety Alliance, PDF 3.7 MB) The use of properly labeled sanitizers (i.e., antimicrobial sanitizers) in water that comes in contact with fruits and vegetables or after harvest is highly encouraged to reduce the risk of cross-contamination by human pathogens.
- Reducing Food Safety Risks in the Packhouse (Penn State Extension) Basic sanitation recommendations for keeping packing areas clean and appropriately sanitary.
- Cleaning and Sanitizing (Vimeo, University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension) Cleaning and sanitizing equipment are critically important steps in preventing microbial contamination of food products.
- Food Contact Surfaces (YouTube, New Mexico State University) In this training video, we will cover the importance of properly cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces, the risks associated with dirty food contact surfaces and examples of what is considered a food contact surface.
- Importance of Cleaning Food Contact Surfaces (Cornell University) This presentation will cover the importance of cleaning and sanitation a food contact surfaces in food processing plants.
- Packing Zones and Cleaning (YouTube, New Mexico State University) In this training video, we will discuss the various zones within produce sorting and packing facilities and produce processing operations. We will discuss the various risks associated with each zone and instructions on how to identify those zones.
- Cleaning and Sanitizing Cold Storage for Produce Safety (Plant Science Food Safety Group) This presentation covers what an effective cleaning and sanitizing strategy looks like for cold storage units, and what it means to have a complete sanitation program.