Pathogens are present in all tomato production areas and are most numerous when the weather becomes warm and wet. Movement of weather fronts or tropical storms through production areas can also affect the susceptibility of tomato fruit to decay. Fruit decays can be minimized by the employment of strict sanitation measures along with careful handling. This bulletin is designed to supplement field scouting and identification guides by
a) describing postharvest decay pathogens important to Florida tomato packers and shippers,
b) presenting sanitation guidelines for controlling decay pathogens during harvest and handling operations,
c) offering appropriate storage temperature options.
Bartz, J. A., S. A. Sargent, and J. W. Scott. 2012. Postharvest Quality and Decay Incidence among Tomato Fruit as Affected by Weather and Cultural Practices. PP294. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://journals.flvc.org/edis/article/view/119990.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). 2013. "Tomato Good Agricultural Practices." https://www.fdacs.gov/Agriculture-Industry/Fruit-and-Vegetables/Tomato-Good-Agricultural-Practices-T-GAP.
De, J., C. R. Pabst, J. Lepper, R. Goodrich Schneider, and K. R. Schneider. 2019. Food Safety on the Farm: Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices—an Overview. FSHN06-01. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs135. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-fs150-2019
Hicks, J. R., and R. H. Segall. 1974. Water Chlorination for Vegetable Packing Houses. Veg. Crops Fact Sheet VC-1. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Jones, J. B., J. P. Jones, R. E. Stall, and T. A. Zitter, eds. 1991. Compendium of Tomato Diseases. St. Paul, MN: The American Phytopathological Society.
Ritenour, M. A, S. A. Sargent, and J. A. Bartz. 2008. Chlorine Use in Produce Packing Lines. HS761. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ch160.
Sargent, S. A., F. Maul, and C. A. Sims. 1998. Implementing the Florida Premium-Quality Tomato Program. Proc.1998 Florida Tomato Institute. PRO 111. University of Florida/Citrus & Vegetable Magazine. pp. 49–54.
Schmidt, R. H., R. M. Goodrich, D. L. Archer, and K. R. Schneider. 2003. General Overview of the Causative Agents of Foodborne Illness. FSHN033. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs099.
Simonne, A., M. A. Ritenour, J. K. Brecht, S. A. Sargent, and K. R. Schneider. 2004. Proper Handwashing for Produce Handlers. Pub. FCS8762-Eng. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://journals.flvc.org/edis/article/view/111977.
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. 1998. Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. Washington, D.C.: Author. http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/GuideToMinimize.pdf.
White, C. 1999. Handbook of Chlorination and Alternative Disinfectants (4th ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.