Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP)

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) are voluntary audits that 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. 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 (pdf) and industry recognized food safety practices.

In 2014, the USDA Audit Program performed over 3,800 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.

To apply for GAP & GHP Audit Services, complete the Request for Audit Service form FV-237A (pdf) and the Agreement for Participation in Audit Services form FV-651, and submit them to your local FV audit office, or the contact below, via email or fax.

For additional information about fruit and vegetable auditing services, contact the SCI Division, Audit Services Branch at:

Telephone: (202) 720-5021
Fax: (202) 260-8927

GAP & GHP Audit Services Include:

List of Participating Companies with Acceptable Audits arranged:

Additional Resources