Documentation and Recordkeeping
Written documentation and records are
integral parts of an effective food safety system.
Important food safety documents include:
- Policies that state how food
safety risks are managed
- Standard operating procedures
(SOP’s) that detail how to perform specific tasks
- Records that document
important actions and conditions
Policies and SOPs inform everyone on the
farm about expectations for food safety. They are useful for teaching new
workers what to do. Written records remind workers and managers that the tasks
they do each day are important in keeping food safe. Records also provide
verification that food was handled properly and show that care was taken with
the produce. In the worst-case scenario of a suspected foodborne illness,
records can be evidence that show workers followed food safety procedures.
Successful operations incorporate food safety documentation and recordkeeping
into the regular work of the farm.
Specific documentation and recordkeeping
requirements vary depending on whether and which third-party audit is desired,
the complexity of the operation. and the risks and practices of a particular
farm. The resources below describe what policies, SOPs, and records are
recommended for various types of enterprises, and provide examples.