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 foodborne
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.