Using good sanitation practices during production, harvesting, and packaging can help reduce the risk of microbial contamination of fresh produce. Soil, fertilizers, harvesting equipment, water, workers, or animals such as livestock, pets, and pests can be sources of harmful microorganisms that cause food-borne illness. Surfaces that come in contact with produce must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized regularly. Employees need to understand and use appropriate food handling practices.
Pacific Northwest blueberry growers must identify and control a number of bacterial and fungal diseases in order to ensure the highest yields. Fortunately, only a few of the diseases that occur on highbush blueberry in this region cause significant losses when left unchecked.