Postharvest Resources

Do you have postharvest questions that weren’t answered in the resources below? Submit them here and CAFF will find the answer(s).

Depending on your farm’s postharvest set up and food safety risks you may want to consider using a sanitizer product on food contact surfaces and/or in your wash water.

Tops FAQs about Produce Wash Water Management for Small-Scale and Direct Market Farms – Dr. Trevor Suslow of UC Davis discusses various options for sanitizing wash water and FAQs on this topic.

Effectiveness of Multiple Washings and/or Organic Sanitizer Treatment in Reducing E. coli Levels in Leafy Greens Wash Water – Research by Dr. Grubinger and Dr. Zanardi Blevins on trials of different postharvest wash water and sanitizer systems.

Sanitizers and Disinfectants: The Chemicals of Prevention – This Food Safety Magazine article provides explanation of different methods used in postharvest food safety.

The Produce Safety Alliance recently released a tool called the PSA Labeled Sanitizers for Produce that you can use to search for products of a particular use and/or whether it is organically approved. Here’s video tutorial on how to use the resource.

Produce Wash Water Sanitizers: Chlorine and PAA – UMass Extension provides an overview of two sanitizer types along with a chart comparing different options.

Choosing and Using a Chlorine Based Disinfectant During Post Harvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables – NC State Fresh Produce Safety Laboratory has put this document together to help growers understand disinfecting with chlorine.

Farm Food Safety: Standard Operating Procedure for Washing Produce with a Peracetic Acid Solution – This guide provides an example of step by step details on how to use PAA and check turbidity.

Wholesale Success: Section 9 Post Harvest Sanitation – Looks at appropriate sanitation throughout harvest and post-harvest.

On Farm Food Safety Cleaning and Sanitizing Guide – Iowa State University Extension.

Postharvest Chlorination – Basic Points and Key Points for Effective Disinfection

Postharvest Handling and Safety of Perishable Crops (Chapter 10 of Small Farm Handbook Copyright © 2011 The Regents of the University of California. Used by permission) – This chapter focuses on a number of areas including Handling at Harvest, Packing, Grading, Storage & Sanitation and Water Disinfection. A full copy of the resource is available here.

Post-Harvest Handling Decision Tool – Leopold Center of Sustainable Agriculture & Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture Program. Considers post-harvest handling of baby salad greens, beans & peas, bulk roots & tubers, cauliflower/broccoli & cabbage, and bunched greens.


Updated 5/8/17.


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