International Produce Training

Category Archives: Inspection Procedures

Company Specifications

More and more companies are choosing to create their own “Company Produce Buying Specifications” as a method to improve their quality of produce received, better than U.S. No.1 Grade. These fresh produce specs usually include changes to minimum sizes, uniform size, or increased tolerances for defects, including decay, The USDA has always provided, with their […]

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Determining Defect Percentages

We have received many questions over the years concerning how the USDA calculates their percentages of defects for produce packed in clamshells or bags, where the entire unit is sold to the consumer.  Many QA’s use an alternative method that conflicts with the USDA. The USDA’s procedure is as follows:  For products like grapes, berries, […]

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Free From Defects

One of the most common questions I hear during my training classes is confusion over the term “free from.”  If you pick up any U.S. Grade Standard you will see this term, sometimes referring to more than one defect.  For the purpose of keeping the explanation simple I will discuss one of the most common […]

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Brussels Sprouts- Inspection Procedures

Not that Brussels Sprouts is a commodity that garners much inspection attention, you still should always look for various defects that may affect them.  Future posts will include some of the more common defects, such as yellow and discolored leaves, insect damage and decay. If you pull out the U. S. Grade Standards for Brussels Sprouts […]

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Pressure Testing

The number one question that I hear over and over, is to explain what is considered a good/bad pressure test reading.  To begin with, using a penetrometer is a useful tool to determine how hard or how ripe the fruit is that you are inspecting.  Industry uses penetrometers on a daily basis when storing or […]

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Raspberries- Tolerances

Raspberries and Blackberries have one thing in common, different from every other commodity.  When determining the percent of defects, the US Grade Standards state the tolerances are based on volume.  Do you have any idea how this is done?  Don’t feel bad, I have never met an inspector (USDA, State, or industry) that actually follows […]

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Pineapples- Soluble Solids

With Pineapples reaching $3 a piece on the retail shelf, I received a question regarding the proper procedure for sampling pineapples when determining the percent of soluble solids (brix), specifically how many pineapples would have to be destroyed, for the extraction of juice. The produce inspector had done his research, noting the USDA does not have […]

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General Terms

For those of you that have read a USDA Inspection Certificate you have noticed certain terms used over and over, such as “Generally”, “Mostly”, and  “Many” to name a few.  These terms actually mean something within the inspection service.  Listed below are the terms and their definitions you may see: Practically All- 95 to 100% Generally- […]

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Shifted Loads

It happens all too often.  You receive a load of produce, where the product is in good shape, but the load has shifted and you notice some damaged cartons.  What are your options? In most cases you can simply separate the damaged cartons from the rest of the load and place the damaged cartons back on the […]

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