What is a GAPs audit?
There are various GAP audits available. The most basic, and easiest to implement, is the USDA GAP audit. The USDA GAP audit checklist consists of six sections.
- General farm review (includes Worker Health and Hygiene, Traceability, Water Quality, Manure and Compost, Animals and Livestock)
- Field Harvesting and Field Packing Activities
- Packing house Facility
- Storage and transportation
- Traceability (deleted, added into other sections)
- Wholesale Distribution Center (applies to distribution centers)
- Preventative Food Defense Procedures (applies to distribution centers or very large farms)
Each section is a checklist related to food safety practices. Everyone must pass the General Farm Review (section 1), but the other sections will vary by grower. Many growers are audited only on 3 or 4 of the sections (e.g. 1,2,3 and 4; 1,2,and 4). Customers who require growers to get an audit will specify which sections are needed.
There are other audits that you can choose and buyers will tell you which type of audit they require. Links to other audit checklists are in the right column.
Depending on the products grown, more than one audit a year may be required by the buyer/customer.
USDA GAP Audits in MN
USDA GAP audits are done by friendly inspectors from the MN Dept of Agriculture, Fruit and Vegetable Inspections Unit. The rate for GAP/GHP audits is $108.00/hr. There is a 75% cost share available from the MDA. For more information, see this factsheet. To schedule an audit call 651-201-6067.