The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has updated the USDA Mushroom Good Agricultural Practices (MGAP) audit to apply to all species of mushrooms. The changes, which were made at the request of the mushroom industry, will become effective November 15, 2016.
Specifically, AMS is revising the USDA MGAP checklist to require a semi-annual water-testing requirement and to modify requirements for the following:
- unpasteurized substrate preparation and storage areas;
- seepage and runoff collection and diversion;
- recordkeeping for heat treatment of substrate during pasteurization or sterilization;
- maintenance and cleaning of harvest baskets, lugs, barrels, and trays; and,
- use and calibration of temperature probes with supporting hardware and software to monitor pasteurization and sterilization conditions.
AMS provides voluntary audit verification services to the fresh fruit and vegetable industries that verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. The MGAP is a commodity-specific audit program offered to meet the requirements of the mushroom industry.
The revised MGAP checklist and additional information on the USDA Mushroom GAP Program can be found at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/auditing/gap-ghp/mushroom-gap. For more information, contact Kenneth Petersen, Chief, AMS Audit Services Branch (ASB), at 202-720-5021, or Jennifer Dougherty, ASB Audit Program Coordinator and GAPs Team Lead, at 703-328-7562.