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).

New: two postharvest videos of how small farms work to reduce their food safety risks.

Video 1: 3 dunk tank wash system

Video 2: Sanitizer used on dunk tank surfaces

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.

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.

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.

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 04/18/18.


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