Produce on display at La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Spain

Produce is a generalized term for many farm-produced crops, including fruits and vegetables (grains, oats, etc. are also sometimes considered produce). More specifically, the term produce often implies that the products are fresh and generally in the same country as where and when they were harvested.[citation needed]

In supermarkets, the term is also used to refer to the section of the store where fruit and vegetables are kept. Produce is the main product sold by greengrocers (UK, Australia) and farmers' markets. The term is widely and commonly used in the U.S. and Canada, but is not typically used outside the agricultural sector in other English-speaking countries.


Vegetables are optimally stored between 0° and 4.4 °C (32 and 40 °F) to reduce respiration. Generally, vegetables should be stored at a high humidity (80 and 95 percent relative humidity), but cucurbits (squash family) and onions prefer dry and can mold when moisture is high.[1]


A tomato in a Japanese supermarket on a plastic tray in plastic shrink film. Excessive unnecessary packaging of produce is overpackaging.

Produce may be packaged for transport or sale.

In parts of the world, including the U.S. and Europe, loose pieces of produce, such as apples, may be individually marked with small stickers bearing price look-up codes. These four- or five-digit codes are a standardized system intended to aid checkout and inventory control at places where produce is sold.

Bacterial contamination

Raw sprouts are among the produce most at risk of bacterial infection.[2]

Rinsing is an effective way to reduce the bacteria count on produce, reducing it to about 10 percent of its previous level.[3]

Wastewater used on vegetables can be a source of contamination, due to contamination with fecal matter, salmonella or other bacteria.[4] After Denmark eliminated salmonella in its chickens, attention has turned to vegetables as a source of illness due to feces contamination from other animal sources, such as pigs.[4]

See also

Notable people


  1. ^ Morgan, Ray (July 2015). Vegetable storage in root cellars and basements in Alaska (PDF) (Report). University of Alaska, Cooperative Extension Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-20. Alt URL
  2. ^ "Hold the Raw Sprouts, Please". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  3. ^ DeRusha, Jason (9 November 2010). "Good Question: Does Washing Fruit Do Anything?". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  4. ^ a b "No more salmonella in Danish poultry". 3 July 2012. Retrieved 2016-09-18.

Further reading

The dictionary definition of produce at Wiktionary