Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP)
GAP & GHP audits are offered by the Oregon
Department of Agriculture (ODA) under the USDA Federal-State Audit Program. GAP & GHP audits are provided by USDA-trained and licensed ODA auditors in seven districts across the state of Oregon. With GAP & GHP certification, businesses can assure buyers and consumers
that they have taken proactive measures to reduce the
risk of contamination by adhering to generally recognized industry best practices.
Harmonized GAP and Harmonized GAP Plus+ audits are recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being aligned with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. Additionally, the Harmonized GAP Plus+ audit is recognized as technically equivalent by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which allows applicants to access a wider range of markets.
GAP & GHP audit services offered by ODA include:
- USDA GAP & GHP
- Harmonized GAP
- Harmonized GAP Plus+
- Mushroom GAPUSDA GAP & GHP Audit
The USDA GAP&GHP audit is divided into sections, each of which covers a specific portion of the supply chain:
- GAP: Part 1 (Farm Review) and Part 2 (Field Harvest & Field Packing Activities)
- GHP: Part 3 (House Packing Facility) and Part 4 (Storage & Distribution) for pre farm-gate operations, or Part 6 (Wholesale Distribution Center/Terminal Warehouse) for post farm-gate operations.
Part 7 (Food Defense Procedures) is an optional scope for those operations which need verification of food defense.
USDA incorporated the United Fresh Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standard into its GAP & GHP audit program in 2011. The result is Harmonized GAP, which includes four scopes (General Questions, Field Operations and Harvesting, Post-Harvest Operations, and Logo Use). As of June 5, 2018, the Harmonized GAP audit program is recognized by the FDA as being aligned with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
Harmonized GAP Plus+
Buyers are increasingly requiring their suppliers to undergo Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) audits. In response, USDA introduced the Harmonized GAP Plus+ standard beginning May 1, 2018. Harmonized GAP Plus+ is recognized as being GFSI technically equivalent, enabling producers to use a single audit to meet various marketing and regulatory requirements. The Harmonized GAP Plus+ audit is also recognized by the FDA as being aligned with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
Mushroom GAP (M-GAP)
Mushroom GAP audits are performed to satisfy the requirements of the mushroom industry. These voluntary audits cover the mushroom production and supply chain from start to finish. Specific guidance for this program, titled "Industry-Wide Food Safety Standards for Fresh Mushroom Growing, Harvesting, and Shipping," was developed by the American Mushroom Institute and Penn State University.
*Please apply at least four weeks prior to your requested audit date.
- Fill out the following forms:
- "Request For Audit Services" (USDA SC-237A)
- "Agreement for Participation in Audit Verification Programs" (USDA SC-651)
- "Application Assistant" (ODA Farm GAP.F.1)
- Upload the forms to the application site
- You will receive an automated message once your materials are properly uploaded.
- ODA will contact you to schedule an audit date.
- Prior to your audit date, your auditor will provide an "Audit Plan and Cost Estimate."
Note: Application forms are provided below.
Note: Beginning October 1, 2018, all applicants will receive two bills for the audit service - one from ODA and one from USDA.
USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Audit Programs
Audit checklists, User's Guides, and Additional Resources can be found on the USDA GAP&GHP website. USDA Website