CITRUS WAITING PERIOD TO ASSESS FREEZE-DAMAGED FRUIT
December 11, 2013
California Ag Commissioners in Citrus Counties Request 48 Hours Before Citrus Shipping-Starting TODAY
Marilyn Kinoshita, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer reported TODAYto citrus handlers:
As you are aware, citrus growers of Tulare County have experienced several days of freezing weather. Temperatures have been low enough and of sufficient duration to cause fruit damage.
After consultation with Agricultural Commissioners in other citrus producing counties, the following has been agreed upon:
· We request that packers voluntarily wait 48 hours before shipping fruit harvested on or after December 11, 2013 to allow our staff an opportunity to make assessments on our fruit.
· You may do your own sampling prior to asking for an official sample by our staff. This additional step may provide you with options and an opportunity to fully assess the level of freeze damage.
· Every effort will be made to accommodate packing schedules.
· If fruit is packed and shipped prior to having an official sample taken at the time of packing, a Notice of Violation will be issued. Further administrative actions may be taken.
· All fruit harvested and packed prior to December 11, 2013 is not subject to this notice.
Our concern, like yours, is to protect the industry and integrity of your labels by keeping freeze-damaged fruit out of wholesale and retail market channels. These steps are considered necessary to maintain consumer confidence.
Thank you for our cooperation during this difficult time. Do not hesitate to contact my staff, or me if you have questions or concerns regarding inspection uniformity at (559) 684-3350.