Back to top

Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and Postharvest Handling for Food Crops

Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) helps growers to develop and implement farm food safety plans, and prepares them for GAPs certification. As a result, growers can market their products with greater confidence. A training manual and short videos are available. See details at: Good Agricultural Practices program.

In October 1998 the U.S Department of Agriculture and the U.S Food & Drug Administration, in response to food safety concerns, issued guidance documents for the fresh fruit & vegetable industry that provide guidance for reducing the possibility of contamination of fresh produce by microbial organisms. Shortly thereafter, many wholesale produce companies began to seek assurances that fresh produce suppliers were following the Good Agricultural Practices that these documents recommended. In January 2002, the USDA implemented the USDA GAP & GHP audit verification program.
Information on USDA GAP and GHP on Massachusetts Department of Agriculture website

Resources from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration

Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of Leafy Greens; Draft Guidance

Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-cut Fruits and Vegetables

Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Other Resources

Create A Food Safety Plan For Your Greenhouse Produce. 2012. Greenhouse Grower Magazine

Four Food Safety And Handling Considerations For Greenhouse Vegetables. 2012. Greenhouse Grower Magazine

Postharvest Handling Information. 2015. Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, University of Minnesota