Wheeler Ridge station to help consumers get what they pay for
SACRAMENTO- Corresponding with the peak of summer fruit season, the California Department of Food and Agriculture announces the re-opening of the Wheeler Ridge Inspection Station in Kern County. Inspectors at the station will check shipments for compliance with California minimum quality standards, which helps consumers get what they pay for. All trucks, pick-ups and vans carrying produce will be required to stop and be subject to inspection.
The station was last open for produce inspection in 1999. Since that time, CDFA’s Standardization Program has focused inspection and enforcement activities within agricultural production areas.
While most consumers can identify produce that is affected by bruises or blemishes, many commodities may have internal damage that affects quality. Also, the flavor of produce will be checked by measuring compliance with maturity standards, which is not visually apparent and requires special testing procedures and equipment.
Inspectors will also examine proof of ownership documents to prevent the movement and sale of stolen produce. CDFA will analyze the effectiveness of the Wheeler Ridge Station in determining whether to re-open other standardization inspection stations in the future.
The station is located on Interstate 5 at the California Highway Patrol Grapevine truck scales.
Editor’s Note – CDFA will host a media availability at the Wheeler Ridge Inspection Station on Thursday, July 28 at 11 a.m. Inspectors will examine produce being shipped to Southern California for compliance with quality standards and check proof of ownership documents.