Good Agricultural Practices for the Production and Handling of Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, and Blueberry
Maintaining good sanitation throughout production and handling of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries is important. It is vital that growers and, in turn, their employees understand just how critical any food poisoning outbreak could be to their livelihoods. Pathogens harmful to humans can be transmitted by direct contact (infected employees or animals) or through contaminated water or soil. Once a fruit is infected, pathogens are difficult or impossible to remove. Only thorough cooking (or other similar treatment, such as pasteurization) will reliably neutralize pathogens. Fruits that are field-packed without washing have a higher likelihood of reaching consumers with field contamination. This document focuses on how to best reduce contamination.