What are GAPs?

Food Safety and GAPs​

Fresh fruits and vegetables are important for healthy diets. On rare occasions, they can be sources of foodborne illnesses. Everyone involved in growing, transporting, selling, preparing, and eating fresh produce plays a role in preventing contamination of fresh produce with pathogens, chemicals, or objects that can cause fo​odborne illness or injury.


​Recommended Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for Food Safety have been developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, universities, and industry groups. Key practices relate to worker health and hygiene, water quality, soil amendments, animals and manure, sanitation in the field and packing house, and recordkeeping.

Producers at all scales can adopt GAPs to reduce the risk that the fruit and vegetables they grow will make someone sick. Some producers document their GAPs by requesting third parties to audit their practices. Many wholesale produce buyers require such audits.

Learn more about GAPs by ​​visiting other pages on this site, attending an educational program listed under Events, or asking a question using the Ask A Question/Share A Comment button.





Food Safety Begins on the Farm (temporarily unavailable)Cornell University
Food Safety Training Program for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable IndustryLinkPurdue University
Kansas State Food-A-Syst: A Food Safety Risk Management Guide for the ProducerLinkKansas State University
Food Safety for Fruit and Vegetable Farms: Good Agricultural Practices for Fruit and Vegetable FarmspdfPurdue and University of Illinois
Food Safety for Fruits and VegetablesLinkThe Ohio State University
Food Safety Hazards in Foodservice and Food Retail Establishments: Foodborne IllnesspdfPurdue University
Food Safety in Community GardensLinkNorth Carolina State University
Good Agricultural Practices for Small Diversified FarmspdfCarolina Farm Stewardship Project