Post Harvest

Post Harvest

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Pre-harvest: Preharvest food safety measures and interventions are implemented on the farm or in the field to prevent or reduce introduction of enteric viruses onto food products.
Harvest: Enteric virus prevention is also important during harvesting. These resources focus on proper use of equipment and tools, effective handwashing techniques, and safe food handling practices.

Post-harvest: Resource materials include management of personnel, proper clean-up and disinfection methods, and food handling education and training materials.

Post Harvest Recommendations


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Cleaning and Sanitation of Tools


Tools, utensils and other implements in the facility can cross contaminate harvested fruits

1. All tools, utensils, cloths and sponges used to clean raw fruits or food contact surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized at least daily.

2. If organic matter builds up on sponges and cloths or if they appear to be contaminated, they should be immediately discarded and replaced prior to cleaning operations.

Farm and Facility Vehicles


Facility Transportation Storage

1. Farm vehicles, pallets, containers or bins used to transport harvested produce and/or packed products are cleaned and maintained to prevent contamination (e.g. soil, dirt, animal manure, spills, etc.)

2. Protect unused clean and new packing containers from contamination while in storage.

Health and Hygiene Information


Health and Hygiene Training  

1. Signs with the key hygiene instructions should be visibly displayed in relevant locations.

2. Clear instructions must be shared to ensure all workers wash hands before handling raw fruit.

3. In general, all workers handling ready-to-eat products are expected to wash hands prior to start of work, after each visit to a toilet, after handling contaminated material, after smoking or eating (in designated areas), after breaks, and at any other time when their hands may have been exposed to potential contamination.

Locker Room Management


Management should provide designated rooms for changing clothes

1. All employees should use these facilities to change clothing and any protective outer garments as needed.

Procesing Equipment


Facilities should allocate specific packing and processing areas comprised of appropriate equipment

1. The packing area and equipment that come in contact with fruits should be cleaned and sanitized at least daily.

Processing Facility and Infrasctructure


Infrastructure needed for packing and processing of fruits

1. The facility for packing or collection of fruits should be of adequate size and allow cleaning and disinfection.

2. The facility should be designed to prevent accumulation of water on the floor and avoid leaking.

Testing of Food Contact Surfaces


Swab food contact surfaces and test for bacterial indicators (such as E. coli, fecal coliform or total coliform) at least once a month during production. When test results indicate fecal contamination, test for Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and Norovirus (NoV). If virus is detected, reinforce surface disinfection, repeat test to confirm contamination, and isolate affected surfaces until the contamination is removed.

Testing of Fruits


Test finished products for Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and Norovirus (NoV) at least once per month during production. If virus is detected, isolate affected lot(s) and repeat test to confirm the scope of contamination. Do not consume or distribute the affected lot(s). Discard or dispose the fruit according to regulatory requirement or internal protocols.

Testing of Workers Hands


Swab plant workers’ hands and test for bacterial indicators (such as E. coli, fecal coliform or total coliform) every 2 months without prior notice. When test results indicating fecal contamination, test for Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and Norovirus (NoV). If virus is detected, temporarily remove the person affected from positions requiring direct contact with food, verify the health condition of the person and repeat test to confirm the infection. If viral infection is confirmed, the plant worker shall not return to work until NoV and/or HAV infection is confirmed negative. Consider increase the number and frequency of test if virus is detected repetitively.

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