Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)

The fresh produce industry faces many food safety challenges as the number of outbreaks associated with consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables has increased in recent years. Prevention of microbiological and chemical contamination is the fresh produce industry is a key factor in the delivery of safe fruits and vegetables to consumers, since there is no kill step or remedial treatments to eliminate these hazards. Contamination of fresh produce can happen during pre and postharvest handling of produce and prevention of contamination is of important for domestic and international markets. Following a systematic, integrated and sustainable approach of implementing these good agricultural practices will positively impact the safety and quality of fresh produce and reduce the potential risk of food-borne illnesses.  This good agricultural practices (GAPs) program focuses on providing the necessary background and understanding that will allow participants to develop a systematic and integrated GAPs program. It provides case studies within specific topics that will allow participants to understand the process and implementation practices they need to follow to meet a specific GAPs requirement. It focuses on harmonized GAPs principles and development of GAPs manual but also provides basic information specific to  Global GAPs and covers those aspects important for meeting the FSMA produce Safety rule.

Why should you take this course:
It will provide the necessary initial steps and tools to develop a GAPs manual and what to expect in a USDA audit and will participate in greenhouse and packinghouse activities. At the end of the course you will not have a complete GAPs manual but you will have the tools and online access that will help you finish this manual.

Target audience:
Owners, farm managers and food safety professionals looking to develop a GAPs program
Topics covered in the 2 day workshop (topics may change based on needs and include evaluations (exams/quizzes, we look for 70% proficiency) during different steps in the process):

1. Overview of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, Harmonized GAPs and Global GAPs.
2. Basics of microbiological testing.
3. Hazard Analysis and risk assessment at the farm (case studies).
4. Worker health, education and training (case studies).
5. Preharvest GAPs

    • Field history (case studies).
    • Water quality (surface and well sources) (case studies).
    • Animal control and biological soil amendments.

6. Postharvest GAPs (greenhouse and packinghouse activities).

    • Field pack to packinghouse (equipment and utensils).
    • Water quality (case studies).
    • Sanitizers and Food Safety (case studies).
    • Pest control.
    • Storage.

7. Development of a Food safety plan (online tool), (onfarmfoodsafety tool).
8. What to expect in a USDA audit.