(April 21) While the fruit bouquet industry grows, Jerry Welcome, president of the International Fresh-cut Produce Association, Alexandria, Va., worries about food safety.

Most fruit bouquet owners probably don’t see themselves as food processors, Welcome said.

Yet they are selling — and reshaping — edible produce.

“If they’re cutting fruit, they’re probably susceptible to the same problems any processors are,” Welcome said.

Like other processors, fruit bouquet store owners should consider food safety, food quality, and product and establishment reputation, Welcome said.

However, Ellen Davis, co-owner of Broomall, Pa.-based Incredibly Edible Delites Inc. said her company does not consider itself to be a food processor because it does not treat the fruit with chemicals after cutting.

Similarly, Amanda Notaris, founder and owner of Fresh Fruit Bouquet Co., Williston Park, N.Y., considers her company to be more of a gift purveyor than a food processor.

“I guess we are a food processor, but it’s just not how I’ve personally felt about it,” Notaris said.

Fruit bouquets raise safety issues
Fruit bouquets, pictured above, are baskets featuring produce items cut to resemble floral arrangements.