August 17, 1988
U.S. Postal Service officials have ordered workers in Orange County to stop inspecting soggy or leaky packages suspected of containing rotting, quarantined fruit, despite warnings that the parcels are a major source of fruit flies. Sealed packages in first-class mail, even if they are about to break open, are protected by privacy laws and must be rewrapped and promptly sent on to the addressee, regional postal inspectors have told Orange County postal employees.
July 28, 1992 |
Sell a nectarine, go to jail. Well, not exactly. But the federal government is suing a Fresno-area grower for selling peaches and nectarines a fraction of an inch smaller than the legal minimum. The buyers in this case were wholesalers who apparently resold the fruit to mom-and-pop grocery stores in central Los Angeles. Yes, it's those pesky agricultural marketing orders again.
October 11, 1987 |
It wouldn't work without the bees. Swarming through a field in Irvine, they carry pollen from the flowers of ordinary watermelon plants to alternating rows of hybrid plants incapable of producing fruit by themselves. The cross-pollination creates distinctive round, pale green "mule" watermelons interspersed among the traditional oblong, dark green picnic melons. Although the bees don't know the difference, the seedless mules have become a popular attraction in supermarket produce departments.
December 8, 1989 |
The citrus canker scare that led to the burning of 20 million fruit trees in the mid-1980s reached the state Supreme Court in Tallahassee, Fla., with growers arguing that a compensation plan violates their rights. They said a law passed by the Legislature providing a $30-million compensation fund and setting up an administrative hearing procedure was unconstitutional because it denied them their right to have compensations settled in court.
March 15, 1989 |
Long before dawn Tuesday, work crews at Cal-Fruit Co.'s loading dock at the Los Angeles Produce Market began the sudden push for citrus. In the dark, workers strained behind hand trucks to wheel out tottering stacks of fruit crates to waiting trucks. Cal-Fruit forklifts whined around them, moving out pallets as quickly as they had been unloaded. By the time the sky lightened, row after row of plump grapefruits, oranges and lemons were ready for inspection at the edge of the dock.
June 15, 1989 |
When choosing a fresh pineapple, select fruit that's plump and firm with fresh green leaves in the crown. The pineapple should have a sweet aroma, and no mold or soft spots. Shell color is not a good sign of maturity--some pineapple varieties remain green even when they are fully ripe. And forget pulling leaves out of the crown; ease of extraction is not an indication of either ripeness or quality. Once a pineapple is harvested from the plant, it will not ripen any further.
March 14, 1989 |
In an action that may virtually eliminate peaches, plums, nectarines and red seedless grapes from grocery shelves across the country, the federal government announced Monday that it is impounding all fruit imports from Chile after traces of cyanide were found in a shipment of Chilean grapes. Government officials do not yet know how long the impoundment may last but warned that it could be for the remainder of the Chilean growing season, about five weeks.
October 3, 1990 |
The Food and Drug Administration acted appropriately and within its legal authority in responding to the March, 1989, Chilean grape poisoning scare, the General Accounting Office has concluded in a draft report obtained Tuesday by The Times. The investigation was requested last year by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), who was concerned about the economic impact of the FDA's actions. The congressional watchdog agency's draft report was completed in August but has not yet been released by Helms' office.
March 19, 1989 |
Less than a day after the Bush Administration lifted its embargo of Chilean grapes and berries, the federal Food and Drug Administration mobilized its field forces at three major U.S. port cities Saturday to begin the government's stepped-up inspection program for fruit from that South American country. At the Port of Los Angeles, FDA officials met with nearly 30 importers to offer guidelines on how to inspect their grapes. The new inspections are not expected to begin until Monday.
March 17, 1989 |
U.S. and Chilean officials working to resolve the Chilean fruit crisis indicated Thursday that they are nearing an agreement on a plan to protect the safety of future imports from that nation. But they said that they remain stymied over what to do with all the produce that has arrived here since the discovery of two poisoned grapes earlier this week.