California Giant berries are a key menu item contributing throughout every day part and meal occasion to increase value. We are here to help maximize your profits and fulfill year-round consumer demand. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are as fragile as they are popular. Following are guidelines for proper receiving and handling of California Giant berries in your operation:
- All of our berries destined for foodservice distribution from distributor warehouse locations must be kept cold until loads are ready to depart and placed onto the truck for final shipment to each end unit.
- Berries on pallets that have been bagged and treated with carbon dioxide will warm during transport as a result of their own respiration. It is crucial that distributors remove bags immediately upon arrival. Improper handling of bagged pallets can result in off flavor.
- Unload all berries immediately into a cold room. Never allow a shipment to sit outside of a cold atmosphere. Optimum temperature is near 32°F degrees (breakdown begins at 36°F degrees) with high humidity (90-95%). Un-refrigerated storage creates shrink.
- Berries must never come in contact with moisture, misters, etc. Moisture will cause rapid breakdown of the berry (Ethylene gas does not affect them).
- Check for maturity, ripeness level, quantity, packaging, size, count, weight, and grade. Report any discrepancies immediately.
- Make sure when breaking down pallets for deliveries with multiple items, to place trays of berries on the top of the stack. Never stack other produce items on top of the trays of berries which could result in significant berry damage from crushing.
- Keep berries refrigerated at all times until ready to use in menu preparation, then only remove berries to be used to minimize temperature fluctuation in product to be held for later use.
- Don't wash berries until ready to serve and use a gentle spray of cool water.
- Don't remove green caps from strawberries until after rinsing. This helps to retain flavor inside the berries.