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Berry Care and Handling 101


It seems like the Internet is loaded with options for selecting, cleaning, and storing your fresh fruit, but how do you know what works best? 

The next time you grab California Giant strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries at your favorite retailer, keep these tips in mind for selecting, cleaning, and storing your berries.

How to Select Berries

While at the store, select berries that are free of blemishes and bruising. Berries don’t ripen after harvest, so pass over those that aren’t quite ripe. Look for these characteristics to ensure you select the berry best:generic-mixed-berry-banner


  • Plump
  • Vibrant red color
  • Fresh green leaves (called calyx)
  • Natural sheen


  • Firm
  • Dark blue color 
  • Powdery finish


  • Deep, even color
  • Firm
  • Glossy sheen


  • Bright and even in color
  • Firm and dry 
  • Free of bruising and excess moisture

Pro Tip: When purchasing blackberries and raspberries, check the absorbent pad on the bottom. Choose a container with a dry and clean pad. 


How to Wash Berries

CG-MixedBerries_DSC3251Store the berries in their original packaging in the refrigerator until ready to eat, ensuring they are cool and dry. Then right before you’re ready to enjoy them, follow these easy steps: 

  1. Run the berries under a gentle stream of cool tap water.
  2. Blot the berries dry with a paper towel.

A Few Reminders:

  • We do not recommend washing berries with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash since these products can be harmful to the fruit and harmful to you. 
  • As much as we love having food prepped and ready to go, it’s always best to wait and rinse berries right before eating them. 
  • Keep berries refrigerated. Consistent refrigeration of dry berries is the key to keeping them fresh for as long as possible.


Now What to Make With These Washed Berries

Now that you know how to properly wash your berries, here are a couple recommendations for enjoying them (besides straight from the plate, that is):

Brussels and Berries

brussels and berries

Pan-Seared Snapper with Blueberry Chimichurri

blueberry chimichurri

Sparkling Prickly Pear Iced Tea with Muddled Blackberry Mint


Find California Giant berries near you!

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