International Produce Training

Category Archives: Grade Standards-Updates

Cucumbers- 2016 Grade Standard

Before this past month the fresh produce industry has been following the U.S. Grade Standards for Cucumbers that were created in 1958.  Its time has come to update this grade standard to reflect the current practices used by cucumber growers and shippers.  The USDA updated the grade standard, which can be found here. If you buy, sell, or inspect […]

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Application of Tolerances

If you look through a U.S. Standard, for just about any commodity, you will find it includes the applicable U.S. Grades, defect tolerances, defect scoring guidelines and application of tolerances.  For example, let’s look at the U.S. Standard for Cucumbers. If you look at Section:  §51.2228 Application of tolerances. (a) The contents of individual packages […]

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Potatoes- Confusion with Tolerances

The most important factor when completing an inspection is making the determination if the lot is in grade or out of grade.  Practically all the U.S. Grade Standards are fairly easy to comprehend.  They will usually have wording such as: 10% total defects, including 5% serious damage, including 1% decay.  Some examples: 12% damage by […]

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Strawberries- Wet From Leaking Juice

This may be new to you.  It is new to everyone.  The USDA has decided to score strawberries being wet from leaking juice as a serious damage defect.  I assume the US Grade Standards for Strawberries has been around since the Raspberry Standard, which has a date of 1931.  Up until this year, this defect was pretty much […]

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Mushrooms- Inspection Procedures

You may not be aware, but there are USDA inspection procedures for mushrooms.  Personally, I have performed a few official USDA inspections on mushrooms.  The USDA has issued a U.S. Grade Standard for Mushrooms, unfortunately it hasn’t been updated since 1966. The grade standard was established for the inspection of white mushrooms, although the brown […]

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Spinach- Sampling Procedures

Inspecting spinach leaves, or spinach plants is a fairly easy, but a time consuming inspection.  First off, there is a U.S. Grade Standard for Spinach Leaves, and there is a U.S. Grade Standard for Spinach Plants, with subtle differences.  If you were to follow the grade standards, when inspecting spinach leaves your sample size would be […]

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Florida Citrus- Discoloration

“You can’t score defects on Florida Citrus!”  I am sure everyone has heard this at one time or another.  Is it true?  Can you never score defects on Florida Citrus?  Not really.  Whether you are inspecting Oranges and Tangelos, Grapefruit or Tangerines from Florida, they will not be as clean in appearance as citrus from […]

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