USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) Division Audit Programs offers voluntary independent audits of produce suppliers throughout the production and supply chain. SCI Division Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) audits focus on best agricultural practices to verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. SCI Division GAP & GHP audits verify adherence to the recommendations made in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
and industry recognized food safety practices.
In 2011, the USDA Audit Program performed over 3,000 Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP) audits in 46 states and Canada covering over 90 commodities. Other audit services include food defense protocols and traceability procedures. USDA also provides oversight for commodity specific audits performed to satisfy the requirements of the Leafy Green Marketing Agreement, the California Tomato Growers Cooperative, the mushroom industry, and government purchase programs.
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