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Grading, Certification and Verification
 
USDA Good Agricultural Practices Audit Programs  
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.

 

 

 
Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standard Audit

 
USDA incorporated the Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standard into its GAP & GHP audit program in 2011, and plans to make it our audit of choice for the 2013 growing season. The Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative is an all-industry effort to harmonize GAP standards – go here for more information about the Initiative.

 
Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standards

 
The Field Operations and Harvesting Harmonized Food Safety Standard and the Post-harvest Operations Harmonized Food Safety Standard can both be found on the Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Initiative’s Website.

 
USDA Harmonized Checklists

 
Effective November 1, 2013
  • Field Operations & Harvesting Checklist (Excel) (PDF)
  • Post-harvest Operations Checklist (Excel) (PDF)

 
Effective through October 31, 2013
  • Field Operations & Harvesting Checklist (Excel) (PDF)
  • Post-harvest Operations Checklist (Excel) (PDF)

 

 
USDA GAP&GHP Audit

 
In January 2002, USDA AMS formally implemented the USDA Good Agricultural Practices & Good Handling Practices (GAP&GHP) audit verification program. This voluntary program is offered to the fruit and vegetable industry to verify an operation’s efforts to minimize the risk of contamination of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts by microbial pathogens. The program does not guarantee the product is free from microbial contamination, but verifies the participant has taken proactive measures to reduce the risk of contamination by adhering to generally recognized industry best practices. The responsibility for product safety and the continued observance of best practices rests with the operation producing and handling the fresh product.

 

 
USDA GAP&GHP Checklists

 
• GAP&GHP Audit Checklist (Excel) (PDF)

 

 

 
I Want To
 
  Request an Audit  
 
  Contact a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Office  
 
  Find Out About Commodity Specific Audit Programs  
 
  Return to Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Audit Programs Page  
 
Resources
 
  FDA Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards (PDF)  
 
  Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Initiative  
 
See Also
 
  Produce Safety Alliance  
 
  On-Farm Food Safety Project  
 
Media Help
 
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  Last Modified Date: 10/30/2013