USDA Aligns Good Agricultural Practices Audits with FDA Food Safety Rule, Alignment Advances Food Safety Practices, Streamlines Regulatory Requirements

June 5, 2018

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a joint release announcing the alignment of the USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices Audit Program (H-GAP) to the minimum requirements of the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) in FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

H-GAP audits are voluntary, user-fee funded audits that verify fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards in accordance with FDA guidance and industry recognized food safety practices.

Although H-GAP and PSR requirements are not identical, the alignment means that all relevant technical components in the PSR are covered in the H-GAP and that the metrics used in the H-GAP meet the same end-goal established in the PSR. The alignment also streamlines complex regulatory requirements for the U.S. specialty crops sector and facilitates market access for the specialty crops industry.

More information is available in Frequently Asked Questions on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Harmonized GAP webpage.

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