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.
Increasingly, fresh produce growers, packers and sellers are being asked to prepare and maintain written Recall Programs. Elements for FDA "Product Recalls" are in 21CFR7.40, et. seq. Adopting that statutory approach to create Fresh Produce Recall Programs may help the Fresh Produce Industry convert public concern into strategic aid.