Search Icon White

Standards Stock the Fridge during National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

Each year, the month of June is celebrated as National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, contributing to much-needed awareness regarding the important role regular consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables plays in promoting overall health. However, unless you live on a farm, access to fresh produce requires significant labor and coordination by growers, truckers, distributors, and many others, work that can be greatly assisted by voluntary consensus standards, many of them developed with the involvement of members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Federation.

When apples, pears, and other tree-growing fruits are ripe and ready to pick, commercial orchards spring into action, beginning a process that will end in your fruit bowl. Depending on the height of a given tree, orchard workers use ladders or adjustable elevated work platforms to reach fruit that's ready for harvesting. A standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 16653-3:2011, Mobile elevating work platforms - Design, calculations, safety requirements and test methods relative to special features - Part 3: MEWPs for orchard operations, sets down specifications for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) used in commercial fruit orchards. The standard, which is applicable to single-person boom-type MEWPs that are controlled from the platform, was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 214, Elevating work platforms. ANSI holds the secretariat of ISO TC 214 and Paul Young of the U.S. is the committee's chair; ANSI member the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) serves as the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to ISO TC 214.

After workers have harvested fruits and vegetables, many agricultural firms take steps to protect their newly picked produce from pests. ASTM F1355-06, Standard Guide for Irradiation of Fresh Agricultural Produce as a Phytosanitary Treatment, provides procedures for the effective radiation treating of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products for the purposes of controlling common pests. The standard, developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International, focuses on irradiation resulting in a typical absorbed dose between 150 and 600 gray.

While fresh produce is by definition not frozen, limited refrigeration is often used in its transport to warehouses, distribution centers, and supermarkets to help maintain freshness. NSF International, an ANSI member and audited designator, has developed NSF P235-03, Temperature Mimicking Sensors, to set specifications for devices used in a wide variety of refrigerated equipment to simulate food's thermal qualities for more efficient temperature reading. Another standard, developed by ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), provides guidance related to reusable plastic containers widely used to hold and transport fresh produce. ANSI/ASABE S600 OCT2011, Manually Handled Collapsible Reusable Plastic Containers for Handling of Fruits and Vegetables, sets down performance specifications and uniform design information for these types of containers.

Voluntary consensus standards provide fruit and vegetable growers, distributors, and other related fields with essential information and important support, bolstering the important work they do and making it easier for all of us to enjoy a healthy meal.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]