Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Information Alert--Fruits and Grain

Nutrition Services Division

Program: Food Distribution Program

Date: March 2005

To: Food Distribution Program Recipient Agencies

Attention: Food Program (or Service) Director
Subject: Storage and Handing of U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Dried Fruits and Grain Products

This Information Alert serves as a reminder regarding the storage and handling of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods dried fruits, fruit/nut trail mix, grains, and grain products.

The above items should be stored in a cool dry place. The ideal temperature is 50°F and the relative humidity is between 50 and 70 percent. Dry storage warehouses often do not meet these conditions. Therefore, USDA recommends that dried fruit and grain products be stored under refrigeration.

It is every recipient agency's responsibility to store and handle all commodities properly. The most effective way to avoid product quality deterioration is to only order quantities of commodities that can be used quickly.


USDA has received several complaints about dried fruit and grain products that have become infested in storage. In each instance, it was determined that the product was in storage for an excessive amount of time under less than recommended storage conditions.

Dried fruit and grain products have a short shelf life, unlike frozen and canned products that may be stored for a more extended period of time. Dried fruit products such as raisins, date pieces, fruit and nut trail mix, dried beans, and grain products such as rice flour, and pasta products are susceptible to insect infestation when they are not stored under proper temperatures and/or they are stored for extended periods of time. The potential for infestation increases considerably when these products are stored under relatively warm, humid conditions, which are prevalent in many dry storage warehouses from late spring into fall.

For further information regarding commodity storage, please visit the USDA web site at

If you have any questions or are unable to access the information on the Web site, please contact Amy Bell, Child Nutrition Consultant, at 916-322-5051, 800-952-5609, or

Questions: Amy Bell | | 800-952-5609 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Related Content
  • Guidance, Manuals, and Resources
    Resources and information regarding the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Distribution Program requirements and operations.
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • Summer Food Service Program Information (updated 15-Jan-2020)
    Administrative and operational information and guidance for organizations that participate in the program.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act (added 10-Jan-2020)
    The California Revenue and Taxation Code (RTC) Section 19853(b) requires local educational agencies (LEA) that operate the National School Lunch Program to annually notify households about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Information Act.
  • 2021 SBP and SMP Grants Available! (added 10-Jan-2020)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division is sending this message to announce the availability of School Year 2020–21 School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Summer Meal Programs (SMP) Start-up and Expansion Grants.
  • Proposition 12 Public Comment Period (added 10-Jan-2020)
    California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) open comment period regarding the draft regulation for Proposition 12, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative.
  • New USDA Justice for All Posters Now Available (added 10-Jan-2020)
    The new U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) And Justice for All posters have arrived.

  • Overview: Competitive Food and Beverage Rules (added 03-Jan-2020)
    The School Nutrition Programs Overview, Definitions, and Resources: Competitive Food and Beverage Rules online training.
  • Community Eligibility Provision - Upcoming Review (added 03-Jan-2020)
    The purpose of this notice is to inform you that we will be conducting an off-site validation review of the identified student percentage (ISP) that was established upon approval for your participation in the CEP.
  • CNAC Member Recruitment 2020 (added 03-Jan-2020)
    The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) is currently recruiting.
  • School Nutrition Success Workshops December 2019 (added 03-Jan-2020)
    Register today to participate in a Team Up for School Nutrition Success (Team Up) workshop.
  • CACFP Ounce Equivalents for Grains Worksheet (added 03-Jan-2020)
    To help program operators transition to the use of ounce equivalents, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released the Using Ounce Equivalents for Grains in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) worksheet.