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

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) are voluntary audits that verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored 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 2015, The USDA Audit Program performed audits in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, covering over 90 commodities.

GAP Program Updates

GAP & GHP Audit Services Include:

How to Request a GAP & GHP Audit

  • Determine what type of audit you need.  For example, your customers may require a Harmonized GAP audit or, if you grow mushrooms, you might need a Mushroom GAP (MGAP) audit. (see list above)
  • Complete the Request for Audit Service Form SC-237A
  • Next select the office closest to the facility that needs to be audited, from the list of Local Specialty Crops Inspection Division audit offices. For non-domestic audits, please contact the national office using the information below, under “Contact Information
  • Email or fax your completed Audit Request Form to the office that you selected.
  • The office will contact you and confirm the receipt of your request, give you more information about the program procedures, and schedule your audit.
  • Complete the SC-430 Vendor Form and submit according to the form completion instructions
  • Complete an Agreement for Participation in Audit Services form SC-651 and submit it to your auditor or to the contact below, via email or fax.

GAP & GHP Program Logo

GAP program participants that maintain compliance with program requirements may apply to use the GAP & GHP program logo.  Participants must submit a written request using SC-652 form, Logo Use Request for Audit Programs. and submit supporting documents as identified in the SC-652 form and the Instructions for the Use of the GAP & GHP Logo.

Audit Uploads to External Sites

Make sure your buyers see the positive results of your USDA GAP audit.  Ask the USDA Specialty Crops Inspection Division (SCI) to upload your USDA audit report to industry commercial supply chain databases

Contact Information

Telephone: (202) 720-5021
Fax: (866) 230-9168

Find a USDA Gap-Certified Company:

USDA Temporarily Extends Expiration Dates for Some Good Agricultural Practices, Domestic Origin Verification, Plant Systems Audit Program Certifications

Additional Resources