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Properly handling your fresh produce - from ordering to preparation - is critical to maintaining the highest standards in food quality. And it's important to running a cost efficient, profitable foodservice operation. Don't guess with your fresh produce. Get the inside info from the fresh produce experts right here.

RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE



Temperature Guide

Items for which ideal temperature is 50 F or below:

Apples 32-35
Apricots 32-35
Artichokes 32-35
Asparagus 32-35
Avocados (ripe) 40-50
Beans (Lima) 32-35
Beans (Snap) 32-35
Beets 32-35
Blackberries 32-35
Blueberries 33-35
Broccoli 32-35
Brussels Sprouts 32-35
Cabbage 32-35
Cantaloupe 40-50
Carrots 32-35
Cauliflower 32-35
Celery 32-35
Cherries 32-35
Coconuts 32-35
Corn 32-35
Cranberries 40-50
Cucumbers 40-50
Dates 32-35
Eggplant 32-35
Endive 32-35
Escarole 32-35
Grapes 32-35
Greens (Collard, Kale) 32-35
Kiwifruit (ripe) 32-35
Leeks 32-35
Lemons 40-50
Lettuce 32-35
Limes 45-40
Mandarines 45-48
Melons (ripe) 40-50
Mushrooms 32-35
Nectarines (ripe) 32-35
Nuts 32-40
Okra 40-50
Onions (Green) 32-35
Oranges (FL) 32-34
Oranges (CA) 40-44
Peaches (ripe) 32-35
Pears (ripe) 32-35
Pears (Green) 32-35
Pears (Snow) 32-35
Peppers 40-50
Pineapple 40-50
Plums/Prunes 32-35
Radishes 32-35
Raspberries 32-35
Rhubarb 32-35
Romaine 32-35
Rutabagas 35-40
Spanish 32-35
Sprouts 35-40
Squash (Summer) 40-50
Strawberries 32
Turnips 32-35
Watermelon 32-35

Items for which ideal temperature is 50 degrease F or above:

Avocados (un-ripened) 65-70
Bananas (to ripen) 65-70
Bananas (to store) 65-60
Garlic 65-70
Grapefruit (AZ/CA) 58-60
Grapefruit (TX/FL) 50
Mangoes (to ripen) 70-75
Mangoes (un-ripened) 55
Melons (un-ripened) 60-65
Onions (Blub) 65-70
Payayas (ripe) 45-55
Peaches (un-ripened) 65-70
Pears (un-ripened) 60-70
Pineapple (un-ripened) 60-70
Potatoes 65-75
Pumpkins 55-60
Squash (Winter) 55-60
Sweet Potatoes 55-60
Tomatoes (un-ripened) 60-70



RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE

Properly handling your fresh produce - from ordering to preparation - is critical to maintaining the highest standards in food quality. And it's important to running a cost efficient, profitable foodservice operation. Don't guess with your fresh produce. Get the inside info from the fresh produce experts right here.

RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE



Handling Fresh Produce

Proper handling of all fruits and vegetables from the moment a shipment arrives is key to ensuring quality offerings for your customers. Rough or excessive handling can damage even the heartiest fruits and vegetables. When moving shipping containers, do not drop them on the floor. Try to keep all handling to a minimum. Even a minor bruise on a produce item can trigger spoiling, and soon its fresh flavor and eye appeal is lost.



RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE

Properly handling your fresh produce - from ordering to preparation - is critical to maintaining the highest standards in food quality. And it's important to running a cost efficient, profitable foodservice operation. Don't guess with your fresh produce. Get the inside info from the fresh produce experts right here.

RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE



Storing Fresh Produce

Once a shipment of fresh produce is received and inspected to your satisfaction, it should be stored immediately. Remember, fresh fruits and vegetables are living, breathing organisms and should not be left out for long periods of time.

Exposure to extreme heat may dry out and damage produce, while exposure to extreme cold may actually freeze items or alter their ripening process. Therefore, to ensure quality fruits and vegetables for your customers, it is vital to get each item into its ideal storage environment as soon as possible after receipt.

There are three general types of storage conditions that fit most produce items:

Cool, dry, well-ventilated
Some of the produce items requiring cool, dry and well-ventilated storage are bananas, avocados and tomatoes. In addition to storing these items in a cool, dry area, they should be separated from other produce which may be adversely affected when these items begin to ripen. Dry onions and potatoes should also be stored in cool, dry and well ventilated areas.

Refrigerated and dry
Most produce items fall into the refrigerated and dry category. Among the fruits and vegetables included here are iceberg lettuce, apples, mushrooms and strawberries. Some other items, for example, asparagus, should have their cut ends kept moist.

Refrigerated and moist
The third category, moist refrigeration, is required for items such as broccoli, cabbage, greens and spinach. It is generally recommended that these commodities be topped with ice during storage.

In addition to storing produce in the proper environment, it is important to date each container as it is placed in storage. This helps ensure proper rotation of the items. Remember, for best quality, the first produce in should be the first produce out.



RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE

Properly handling your fresh produce - from ordering to preparation - is critical to maintaining the highest standards in food quality. And it's important to running a cost efficient, profitable foodservice operation. Don't guess with your fresh produce. Get the inside info from the fresh produce experts right here.

RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE



Receiving & Inspection

Receiving and inspecting fresh produce is the first step to ensuring a quality end product for your customers and healthy profit for your business. Your foodservice establishment invests a significant amount of money in procuring quality produce to serve its customers, and your care and thoroughness in receiving and inspecting each shipment helps protect this investment.

The following are four important questions to ask when receiving and inspecting each shipment of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Did we receive the specific items ordered?
First and foremost, keep careful records of all orders placed and check your shipments against those records. As you know, most produce items are available in a number of varieties, which are often best suited for a particular use. If you ordered a variety for a specific use, be sure you received it. For example, you may have ordered Russet Burbank potatoes - specifically for baking. If you did not receive Russet Burbank, you may have paid more money than necessary for the variety received, and just as important, you may have received a variety that is not ideal for your intended use. The bottom line: Be specific with your orders and make sure those specifications are met.

Did we receive the amount ordered?
Again, be sure to check the amount received against your order. It is important to be familiar with your establishment's policy here. For example, you may be required to count or weigh all produce items before you sign the delivery receipt. Or, you may be required to conduct a random count or weight check. Other policies may specify that counting or weighing be done at a later date.

Is the produce fresh?
It is important to be familiar with specific produce items so that you can distinguish fresh product from that which is not. Generally speaking, freshness indicators include: Bright, uniform color (regardless of degree of ripeness) Firm flesh Absence of rot or blemish Shiny skin Crisp leaves

Did we receive quality produce?
Again, you should be familiar with individual fruits and vegetables to ensure that the shipments received are of the quality you expect. It is also important to check that any special quality standards specified are met. For example, did you specify that the produce be transported to temperature-controlled trucks or that it be shipped in only new containers? Were these specifications met? If not, the quality of your produce may not meet with your expectations or those of your customers.



RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE

Properly handling your fresh produce - from ordering to preparation - is critical to maintaining the highest standards in food quality. And it's important to running a cost efficient, profitable foodservice operation. Don't guess with your fresh produce. Get the inside info from the fresh produce experts right here.

RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE



Ethylene Gas

Ethylene is one of the most active plant hormones known. Often called "ripening gas", this chemical is produced naturally by ripening fruits and can be artificially introduced into the atmosphere to speed ripening. It is often used, for example, to ripen bananas and tomatoes. By placing peaches in a closed bag, you're taking advantage of the fruit's natural ethylene to speed softening.

While ethylene is great for ripening some fruits, the gas can cause premature decay among other fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to it. To avoid deterioration of sensitive commodities, you should avoid holding them in the same storage room or refrigerator compartment with products that emit a great deal of gas. Diseased or injured fruits generate substantially increased levels of ethylene, so remove injured produce right away. If you have only one cooler, keep lids on storage boxes, store sensitive commodities as far away as possible from gas producers, and rotate product properly. If your inventory turns quickly, ethylene should not present problems.

These fruits produce large quantities of ethylene:
Apples
Apricots
Avocados
Bananas
Cantaloupe
Honeydew
Kiwi Fruit
Nectarines
Papayas
Peaches
Pears
Plums
Quinces
Tomatoes

These commodities are sensitive to ethylene:
Asparagus
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Green beans
Lemons
Lettuce
Lime
Peas
Peppers
Potatoes
Summer Squash
Sweet Potatoes
Watermelon



RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE

Properly handling your fresh produce - from ordering to preparation - is critical to maintaining the highest standards in food quality. And it's important to running a cost efficient, profitable foodservice operation. Don't guess with your fresh produce. Get the inside info from the fresh produce experts right here.

RECEIVING & INSPECTION
STORING
HANDLING
ETHYLENE GAS
TEMPERATURE GUIDE