Handle produce with care, especially when hand harvesting. Harvesting is a high-risk time because of the human contact with produce and the proximity of harvest time to consumption. This is why training workers during preharvest time is exceptionally important.
Suggested harvest considerations for produce safety:
Workers should wash their hands properly every time they:
- Enter the field for the day
- Before eating
- After eating
- After using the restroom
- After minor injuries
- Before handling product post-harvest
We recommend trying to harvest when produce is dry to the touch when possible. Water on fruit facilitiates the transmission of pathogens, both human and plant.
Ensure the bins used for harvest are as clean as possible, hopefully having been cleaned before use or after last use and having been stored well.
Train workers with your farm's policy for what to pick and what to leave. For example, not harvesting dropped fruit.
Train workers in the policy for disposing of sullied produce. i.e. produce that has animal droppings on it (birds) or blood from an injury, or body fluids. Bite marks are also a sign to move on and not pick that fruit.
NO SICK WORKERS IN CONTACT WITH PRODUCE!!!!!!!!!