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Good Agricultural Practices

University of Wyoming Extension

GAPs - Good Agricultural Practices

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) help reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses that might be carried on fresh fruits and vegetables and come from the farm. Illness-causing pathogens, such as salmonella and E. coli, come from a variety of sources. The most common source is fecal matter, which can be spread by water, wildlife, waste and workers. If you produce food for others (and for yourself!), then an understanding the common sense practices used in GAPs is an important risk management tool.

Some farms may be required to be certified for having GAPs in place and may have developed a farm food safety plan (perhaps by a buyer such as a wholesaler, retailer, restaurant or institution). But no matter whether you sell food or not, or are required to have a plan or not, be sure to take reasonable measure to reduce the risks.

Establishing a food safety plan helps identify the policies and practices in place on the farm and who is responsible for ensuring they occur. These practices should enforced, even for visitors. If you are required to have GAPs certification, then you need to get organized and document how you will manage the risks. Growers passing a GAPs audit — an on-farm inspection aspect of the certification process – will likely comply with recent change to the Food Safety Modernization Act rules, too.

Resources

 
For more information, contact:
Julie Balzan
Nutrition and Food Safety Educator
Platte County Extension
57 Antelope Gap Rd
Wheatland, WY  82201-8959
jbalzan@uwyo.edu | (307) 322-3667


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