Grading change for double cherries
Inspectors will consider both sides as one when scoring size.
Matt Whiting, WSU
Double cherries will be graded differently in Washington this season.
In the past, Washington fruit inspectors used to require that each portion of the double cherry match the minimum size of the rest of the cherries in the carton.
At the request of the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee, the Washington State Department of Agriculture obtained a written interpretation of how double cherries should be graded. As a result, starting this season, inspectors will consider the entire double cherry when scoring the size.
Jim Quigley, manager of the WSDA’s fruit and vegetable inspection division, said double cherries must have both sides well formed and be within 2/64ths of an inch of each other in size, but they will be considered as one cherry.
Other states, such as Oregon, Idaho, and California had been scoring doubles differently from Washington, he said. “We had information and direction from our federal supervisor that we would look at each side of the cherry and size it independently. USDA has taken a different look at it.”
There is no limit to the number of doubles that a carton of cherries can contain, Quigley said. The entire carton could be doubles.
The change went into effect May 21.