International Produce Training

Category Archives: Grade Standards-Updates

Watermelons- Offsize

With retailers selling watermelons by the individual melon (i.e. $3.99 per melon) receiving watermelons being uniformly sized is important.  No one expects the consumer to choose a small watermelon on display if larger melons are available for the same price. Most of the times watermelons packed in cartons will be uniform in size.  But when […]

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Damage by other means

Earlier this week I received an e-mail asking me a very good question.  While inspecting strawberries they noticed live insects (thrips) on the strawberries.  There was no feeding damage, nor was there any real evidence of damage done by the insects.  Checking the US Grade Standard and USDA Inspection Instrucitons there was no mention of this […]

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Potatoes- Proposed Changes to Grade Standard

In an effort to clear up confusion and proved further clarity, the USDA has opened the U.S. Grade Standards for Potatoes for comments on some changes to the grade standard.  In 2008, the USDA recently revised the potato standard, but admittedly made some mistakes that need fixing.  Here are the highlights:  For years the potato […]

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Plums- Sizing

Ever wondered if the Plums you are receiving from California are the proper size?   The USDA Grades do not require that plums meet a certain minimum size, or diameter.  If the plums are packaged in one or two layer container, you should make sure the fruit are the proper size for the pack, meaning they are not […]

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With winter weather in full swing you know it is that time of year to begin seeing Clementines arriving from Spain and Morocco.   But when you receive these citrus fruits in their wooden lugs do you understand what U.S. Grade Standard should be applied?  There is no U.S. Grade Standard for Clementines, so what would you use as […]

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Tomatoes- Sizing

One topic that is on the training agenda year after year for the  USDA Inspectors is the topic of size involving tomatoes.  I’ll try my best to keep this short, clear, and easy to understand.  Tomatoes are designated in size by two different methods.  You may see your tomatoes being marked as Small, Medium, Large, or Extra Large.  […]

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Sno Peas

A few years ago the USDA published a standard for sno peas, or any type of edible pea pod.  The standard is titled U.S. Grade Standards for Pea Pods.  When inspecting sno peas there are usually a few defects you would be on the look out for.  You would immediately notice the freshness, looking for […]

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