Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
GAP/GHP Certification

Good Agriculture/Handling Practices Certification Program

USDA Federal-State Audit Program
Oregon Department of Agriculture offers GAP and GHP certification under the USDA Federal-State Audit Program. These audits are based on the Food and Drug Administration´s Guidelines to Minimize Microbial Contamination for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and is a nationally recognized cooperative partnership between the USDA, the State of Oregon and other federal/state inspection services.
The auditing services are performed on a voluntary basis at the request of our customers. With twenty USDA trained and licensed auditors located in seven districts across the state, we can provide GAP/GHP certification in a timely, cost effective manner. This service gives the consumers of Oregon´s produce the confidence that they have purchased the best quality produce that was also handled in a manner to reduce the potential of microbial contamination.

Good Agriculture Practices
GAP certification is verification of practices on the farm that minimize microbial contamination in the production of fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts. 
 The audit consists of verifying compliance with three sections of the USDA Federal/State Audit Checklist; General Questions, Farm Review, and Field Harvest-Field Packing.  The General Questions are constructed to verify the implementation of a basic food safety program. The Farm Review questions verify that hazards associated with land use and water are mitigated,  and the Field Harvest and Field Packing questions verify the implementation of precautions and practices that mitigate microbial contamination during harvest and field packing.  GAP certification audits are conducted during harvest when harvest crews are operating.

Good Handling Practices
GHP certification is verification of practices in the handling and packing operation that minimize microbial contamination in the handling of fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts. The audit consists of verifying compliance with four sections of the USDA Federal/State Audit Checklist: General Questions, House Packing Facility, and Storage and Transportation. The General Questions are constructed to verify the implementation of a basic food safety program on the farm. The House Packing Facility questions verify that hazards associated with receiving and packing product are mitigated. The Storage and Transportation questions verify the implementation of precautions and practices that mitigate microbial contamination during storage and transportation of fresh produce. GHP audits are performed when the packing operation is running and workers are present.
The federal/state audit program does not audit processed fruits and vegetables. Verification of food processors is provided by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Food Safety Program.

Back to Top

GAP/GHP Certification Requirements

To recieve a GAP or GHP certificate you must receive a 80% on all sections audited.
80% passing score is based on points received vs. the total points possible (per section) minus any not applicable questions (N/A).
  • 80% must be achieved in each section and the percentage is not accumulative of all sections.
  • Checklist Question values are 5,10, and 15 and points are given as all or nothing based on whether the question was answered "YES" or "NO."
  • Questions may be N/A only when they don´t apply to the operation and justification is documented in the checklist.
Certification will not be granted and an automatic "Unsatisfactory" will be assessed under the following conditions:
  • An immediate food safety risk is present when produce is grown, processed, packed or held under conditions that promote or cause the product to become contaminated.
  • The presence or evidence of rodents, an excessive amount of insects or other pests in the product during packing, processing, or storage.
  • Observation of employee practices (personal or hygienic) that jeopardize or may jeopardize the safety of the products.

Back to Top

Getting certified

To request a GAP/GHP audit, please fill out a request for service form (69 KB pdf), and fax/email to your local district office. If you have any questions, please call 503-986-4620.
NOTE:   Fees for all Commodity Inspection Program third-party audit and certification services are proposed to increase on June 1, 2012 to $92 per audit hour in order to maintain compliance with our federal-state cooperative agreement.  Comments on this proposed fee change can be submitted at the proposed rulemaking hearing on April 30.  More information available on the ODA public meetings page or by calling Sue Gooch at 503-986-4583. 
Auditors are experienced fruit and vegetable inspectors trained and licensed to assess GAP/GHP practices and are familiar with the products and processes being assessed for GAP/GHP certification.
In order to become a GHP/GAP licensed auditor:
  • Must be an ODA employee and USDA federal/state inspection licensed produce inspector.
  • Must have completed and passed a USDA auditor training course.
  • Must have completed food safety training and receive continuing food safety education.
  • Must shadow and/or be supervised by a licensed GAP/GHP auditor for a minimum of three audits.
20 Auditors are located in seven districts throughout the state to reduce travel costs and provide efficient auditing services.

Back to Top


Resource Materials

Back to Top