Published March 26th, 2020
What is a GAP Audit?
The USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP) audit verification program, also called GAP audit, is a voluntary certification program that determines if a food producer follows the USFDA’s recommendations on maintaining the safety and quality of fruits and vegetables. A GAP audit certification means that a food producer took proactive steps to maintain food safety and that they can engage in business with customers or suppliers that require GAP certification.
This article briefly discusses (1) the steps to prepare for a GAP audit; (2) technology to help capture food safety hazards and comply with food safety practices; and (3) free GAP audit checklists.
5 Steps to Prepare for a GAP Audit
- Read and understand the USFDA’s recommendations for agricultural produce: “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.”
- Review the appropriate GAP audit for you based on your produce and the customer’s requirements.
- Conduct internal audits to determine areas for improvement on food safety.
- Ensure competency needs are met based on the conducted internal checks.
- Request for a GAP & GHP audit.
Technology to Capture Food Safety Hazards
The goal of preparing for a GAP audit is not only to obtain certification and meet customer requirements but also to ensure that a food producer has proactively taken steps to maintain the food safety of the produce. Maintaining an effective and documented food safety process can be costly and time-consuming, particularly if the food producer relies on paper-based documentation. Overcome the challenges of maintaining food safety with iAuditor, the world’s most powerful auditing app. With the iAuditor mobile app and software, food producers can:
- Conduct internal audits using mobile-ready food safety and GAP audit checklists
- Take photos and describe food safety hazards using the app
- Immediately address issues found and assign corrective actions
- Save time by generating comprehensive audit reports on the spot. Preview a sample web and PDF report.
- Use for free with small teams. Unlimited reports and storage for premium accounts.
Best Digital GAP Audit Checklists
1. GAP Audit Checklist
A Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit checklist is a tool used to determine a producer’s compliance with food safety practices based on industry standards and the USFDA’s recommendations. Use this comprehensive checklist to discover areas for improvement in current agricultural practices and help address food safety issues. With the iAuditor mobile app and software, you can:
- Proactively catch food hazards and assign corrective actions.
- Take photos and describe non-compliance.
- Highlight areas for improvement and include recommendations on the audit report.
- Monitor improvements and determine readiness for third-party GAP audit.
This checklist contains parts 1 to 7 of the USDA Good Agricultural Practices Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Checklist. The checklists below are a breakdown of this checklist for your convenience.
2. GAP Audit Part 1 - Farm Review Checklist
Use this farm review checklist to inspect the farm for food safety hazards and determine steps to correct them before the official GAP audit.
3. GAP Audit Part 2 - Field Harvest and Field Packing Activities Checklist
Use this field harvest and field packing activities checklist to inspect for food safety hazards in the field and determine steps to correct them before the official GAP audit.
4. GAP Audit Part 3 - House Packing Facility Checklist
Use this house packing facility checklist to inspect for food safety hazards and determine steps to correct them before the official GAP audit.
5. GAP Audit Part 4 - Storage and Transportation Checklist
Use this storage and transportation checklist to inspect for food safety hazards in storage and transportation and determine steps to correct them before the official GAP audit.
6. GAP Audit Part 6 - Wholesale Distribution Center/Terminal Warehouse Checklist
Use this wholesale distribution center/terminal warehouse checklist to inspect for food safety hazards and determine steps to correct them before the official GAP audit.
7. GAP Audit Part 7 - Preventive Food Defense Procedures Checklist
Use this preventive food defense procedures checklist to check for proactive steps taken to maintain food safety and prepare for the official GAP audit.