International Produce Training

Course Curriculum

The course curriculum for the produce inspection training program was crafted after years of experience working as a former trainer at the USDA National Training and Development Center, in Fredericksburg, VA. By listening to the attendees we have established a working knowledge of effective training methods, using formal training supplemented by “hands on” training. Learn how the produce inspection training program works.

Inspecting commodities along side the participants, teaching proper cutting methods when looking for internal defects, sampling techniques to ensure inspection results are accurate for the lot(s) being inspected, and identifying defects and their tolerances, has proved to be very rewarding. We used our experience to build a powerful and effective produce inspection training program to help others learn how to inspect produce based on Industry-specific Standards and/or U.S. Grade Standards.

Which Commodities Would You Need?

Introduction to Inspection

A brief overview of the inspection terminology. Review the
definitions and examples of quality defects and condition defects affecting fresh produce.
Review the process of creating and developing U.S. Grade Standards, and understanding
their meaning. (90 minutes)

Introduction to U.S. Grade Standards

A practical lesson designed to fully understand
the complexity of the U.S. Grades, using a step by step process, complete with hands-on
demonstration. (90 minutes)

Inspection Process

A brief overview of the inspection process. Topics covered,
include; sampling procedures, inspecting, cutting methods and reporting results.
Optional- Overview of USDA Inspection Note sheets and Certificate. (60 minutes)

Commodity Reviews

An in depth class covering the U.S. Grade Standards, and
tolerances for each commodity. This class will cover the identification of defects, and
their allowances within the U.S. Grades. Visual aids, inspection procedures specific to
the commodity and demonstrations of the various inspection tools will be included.
(approximately 30-60 minutes per commodity)

Inspection Demonstrations and Hands-On Inspection

Designed for participants to
inspect fresh fruit and vegetables, following the inspection instructions issued by the
USDA. Defect identification and defect guidelines will be discussed. Active participation
is encouraged as participants learn by doing. (approximately 30-60 minutes per

Introduction to Food Safety

The fresh fruit and vegetable industry’s hottest topic is
food safety. This lesson will provide a brief overview of the process involved with
creating a food safety plan, pertaining to Good Agricultural Practices and Good
Handling Practices. Also included; the preparation for a food safety audit and the audit
criteria used by the USDA. (60 minutes)


Apples Kiwi
Apricots Lemons
Artichokes Lettuce (Iceberg and Leaf)
Asparagus Limes
Bananas Mushrooms
Beans Nectarines
Blueberries Okra
Broccoli Onions
Cabbage Oranges
Cantaloups Papayas
Carrots Peaches
Cauliflower Pears
Celery Peppers
Cherries Plums
Corn Potatoes
Cucumbers Radishes
Eggplant Romaine
Garlic Squash (Winter/Summer)
Grapefruit Strawberries
Grapes Tangerines
Green Onions Tomatoes
Honeydews Watermelons

Download the Produce Training Course Curriculum