S & L Produce, Inc.



Display tomatoes no more than one layer deep and place stem-end up to avoid bruising. Bruising can also be avoided by displaying tomatoes on a grass or rubber mat. Avoid dumping tomatoes on the display, as consumers buy tomatoes based on appearance and firmness. Flavor and shelf life determine repeat sales.

Packing tomatoes in several carton sizes can save time weighing them at the checkout line. Also display tomatoes in bulk.

Sold by types rather than varieties, tomatoes are field, stake, or pole grown and are described as mature-green, vine-ripe, plum, or Roma, cherry, grape, greenhouse, and hydroponic. Tomatoes are available year-round with peak supplies May to July. Although most states grow tomatoes to some extent, Florida and California provide the bulk of supplies.


Displays can be either on an island or a rack.

It is important to store and display tomatoes at room temperature. Refrigeration below 55F, 12.8C will damage tomatoes. Positioning tomatoes next to avocados works well since both can be displayed unrefridgerated on a dry table.


Use signs to advice consumers not to refrigerate tomatoes, because that will stop the ripening process and not allow the full flavor to come through.

Post signs to tell consumers that tomatoes can be ripened at home by placing them on a counter, in a fruit bowl, or inside a brown paper bag for a few days until they are slightly soft and rich red in color. Tomatoes should be ripened stem side up to avoid bruising. Red ripe tomatoes will hold at room temperature for two three days.


To peel tomatoes, boil for about 30 seconds and let cool. The peels can then be easily removed with a sharp knife. Another option is to plunge hot tomatoes into cold water for easy peeling.

To seed tomatoes cut in half crosswise and squeeze gently in the palm of your hand.

Do not refrigerate tomatoes until sliced. Freeze only cooked product.

Stuff tomatoes with meat or seafood salad for lunch, or serve cherry tomatoes with dip as an appetizer or garnish.


- Do not refrigerate
- Highly sensitive to freezing injury (Likely to suffer injury by one light freezing)
- Susceptible to chilling injury (Damage sometimes is not apparent until produce is returned to a warmer temperature. At temperature below 55F, 12.8C, tomatoes are subject to chill injury and lose flavor quickly.)

Never stack more than two layers high, and keep product stem up to protect tomato shoulders.

Because most tomatoes are picked mature but not totally ripe, they will continue ripening in transit. Tomatoes produce ethylene, a hormone that stimulates ripening. If tomatoes have not reached appropriate color by the time they reach the local distribution center, their ripening process will be speeded up.

Ethylene treatment applied at shipping point starts the ripening process and assures more uniformly ripened fruit upon arrival at the destination point and shortens the period between harvest and display, therefore maintaining a higher degree of vitamin C.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following content descriptors for tomatoes: low-fat, saturated fat-free, sodium-free (must state that tomatoes contain less than 5mg sodium per 85g tomato), cholesterol-free, low in calories, a good source of vitamin A and high in vitamin C.








Shelf Life

Green: 21-28 days, Pink: 7-14 days


Serving Size:
1 medium tomato (148g)



Total Fat

0g (1%)

Saturated Fat

0g (%)


0mg (%)


5mg (0%)

Total Carbs

7g (2%)

Dietary Fiber

1g (4%)




1g (2%)

Vitamin A


Vitamin C






For reference only.
Percent values based on
2,000-calorie diet.