USDA GAP Audit Checklist

Use this USDA GAP Audit Checklist to ensure compliance with USDA standards, maintain food safety protocols, and uphold quality in agricultural practices.

USDA GAP Audit Checklist



Traceability

1. Is a documented traceability program established?


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2. Has the operation conducted a "mock recall" that has proven effective?


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Worker Health & Hygiene

1. Is drinking water readily available to all workers?


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2. Do all employees and visitors to the location follow proper sanitation and hygiene practices?


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3. Is training provided to all staff on proper sanitation and hygiene practices?


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4. Do employees and visitors follow good hygiene/sanitation practices?


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5. Do employees who handle or package produce wash their hands before beginning or returning to work?


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6. Are readily understandable signs posted to instruct employees to wash their hands before beginning or returning to work?


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7. Are all toilet/restroom/field sanitation facilities clean and supplied with single-use towels, toilet paper, hand soap or antibacterial soap, and water for hand washing that meets the microbial standards for drinking water?


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8. Are all toilet/restroom/field sanitation facilities serviced and cleaned on a scheduled basis?


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9. Is smoking and eating confined to designated areas separate from where the product is handled?


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10. Are workers with diarrheal disease or symptoms of other infectious diseases prohibited from handling fresh produce?


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11. Is there a policy in place that describes procedures for handling/disposition of produce or food contact surfaces that have come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids?


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12. Are workers instructed to seek prompt treatment with clean first aid supplies for cuts, abrasions, and other injuries?


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13. Are company personnel or contracted personnel who apply regulated pre-harvest and/or post-harvest materials licensed?


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14. Are company personnel or contracted personnel applying non-regulated materials trained on their proper use?


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Water Usage

1. What is the source of irrigation water?


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2. How are crops irrigated?


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3. Is a water quality assessment performed to determine the quality of water used for irrigation purposes on the crop(s) applied?


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4. Is a water quality assessment performed to determine the quality of water used for chemical application or fertigation methods?


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5. If necessary, are steps taken to protect irrigation water from potential direct and non-point source contamination?


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Sewage Treatment

1. Is the farm sewage treatment system/septic system functioning properly, with no evidence of leaking or runoff?


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2. Is there no municipal/commercial sewage treatment facility or waste material landfill adjacent to the farm?


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Animals/Wildlife/Livestock

1. Are crop production areas not located near or adjacent to dairy, livestock, or fowl production facilities unless adequate barriers exist?


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2. Are manure lagoons located near or adjacent to crop production areas maintained to prevent leaking/overflowing, or are measures taken to stop runoff from contaminating the crop production areas?


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3. Is manure stored near or adjacent to crop production areas contained to prevent contamination of crops?


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4. Are measures taken to restrict access of livestock to the source or delivery system of crop irrigation water?


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5. Are crop production areas monitored for the presence or signs of wild or domestic animals entering the land?


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6. Are measures taken to reduce the opportunity for wild and domestic animals to enter crop production areas?


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Animal-based Soil Amendments And Municipal Biosolids - Option A: Untreated Animal-based Soil Amendments

1. Is untreated animal-based soil amendments, when applied, incorporated at least 2 weeks before planting and a minimum of 120 days before harvest?


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2. Are untreated animal-based soil amendments not used on commodities that are harvested within 120 days of planting?


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3. If both untreated and treated animal-based soil amendments are used, is the treated animal-based soil amendment properly treated, composted, or exposed to reduce the expected levels of pathogens?


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4. Are animal-based soil amendments properly stored before use?


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Animal-based Soil Amendments And Municipal Biosolids - Option B: Treated Or Composted Animal-based Soil Amendments/ Treated Biosolids

1. Are only treated or composted animal-based soil amendments and/or treated biosolids used as a soil amendment?


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2. Are treated or composted animal-based soil amendments and treated biosolids properly treated, composted, or exposed to environmental conditions that would lower the expected level of pathogens?


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3. Are treated or composted animal-based soil amendments and treated biosolids properly stored and protected to minimize recontamination?


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4. Are analysis reports available for treated or composted animal-based soil amendments and treated biosolids?


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Animal-based Soil Amendments And Municipal Biosolids - Option C: No Animal-based Soil Amendments/Biosolids Used

1. Are no animal-based soil amendments or municipal biosolids used?


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Soils

1. Is a previous land use risk assessment performed?


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2. When previous land use history indicates a possibility of contamination, are preventive measures taken to mitigate the known risks? Are soils tested for contaminants, and is the land use commensurate with the test results?


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3. Are crop production areas subjected to flooding tested for potential microbial hazards?


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Traceability

1. Is each production area identified or coded to enable traceability in the event of a recall?


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Field Sanitation And Hygiene

1. Is a documented pre-harvest assessment made on the crop production areas, where risks and possible sources of crop contamination are noted and assessed?


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2. Do the number, condition, and placement of field sanitation units comply with applicable state and federal regulations?


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3. If the above question is answered: "N/A" (sanitation units are not required), is a toilet facility readily available for all workers?


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4. Are field sanitation units located in a location that minimizes the potential risk for product contamination and are they directly accessible for servicing?


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5. Is there a response plan in place for the event of a major spill or leak in field sanitation units or toilet facilities?


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Field Harvesting And Transportation

1. Are all harvesting containers and bulk hauling vehicles that come in direct contact with products cleaned and/or sanitized on a scheduled basis and kept as clean as practicable?


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2. Are all hand harvesting equipment and implements (such as knives, pruners, machetes, etc.) kept as clean as practical and disinfected on a scheduled basis?


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3. Are damaged containers properly repaired or disposed of?


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4. Is harvesting equipment and/or machinery that comes into contact with the product in good repair?


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5. Are light bulbs and glass on harvesting equipment protected to prevent contamination of produce or fields in the case of breakage?


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6. Are there standard operating procedures or instructions for handling glass/plastic breakage and possible contamination during harvesting operations?


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7. Are there standard operating procedures or instructions for handling product contamination by chemicals, petroleum, pesticides, or other contaminating factors?


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8. For mechanically harvested products, are measures taken during harvest to inspect for and remove foreign objects such as glass, metal, rocks, or other dangerous/toxic items?


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9. Are harvesting containers, totes, etc., not used for carrying or storing non-produce items during the harvest season, and are farm workers instructed in this policy?


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10. Does water applied to harvested products meet the microbial standards for drinking water?


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11. Are efforts made to remove excessive dirt and mud from products and/or containers during harvest?


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12. Is transportation equipment used to move product from field to storage areas or storage areas to processing plants, which comes into contact with the product, clean and in good repair?


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13. Is there a policy in place and has it been implemented to cover harvested products during transportation from the field to storage areas or processing plants?


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14. Are only new or sanitized containers used for packing the product in ranch or field pack operations?


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15. Are packing materials used in ranch or field pack operations properly stored and protected from contamination?


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16. Is the product moving out of the field uniquely identified to enable traceability in the event of a recall?


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Receiving

1. Is the product delivered from the field and held in a staging area before packing or processing protected from possible contamination?


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2. Before packing, is the product properly stored and/or handled to reduce possible contamination?


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Washing/Packing Line

1. Does the source water used in the packing operation meet the microbial standards for drinking water?


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2. If applicable, is the temperature of processing water used in dump tanks, flumes, etc., monitored and kept at temperatures appropriate for the crop?


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3. Is the processing water adequately treated to reduce microbial contamination?


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4. Are water-contact surfaces, such as dump tanks, flumes, wash tanks, and hydro coolers, cleaned and/or sanitized on a scheduled basis?


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5. Is water treatment, including strength levels and pH, and exposure time monitored, and has the facility demonstrated that it is appropriate for the product?


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6. Are food contact surfaces in good condition, cleaned and/or sanitized before use, and are cleaning logs maintained?


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7. Are product flow zones protected from sources of contamination?


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8. Does the water used for cooling and/or making ice meet the microbial standards for drinking water?


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9. Is any ice used for cooling produce manufactured, transported, and stored under sanitary conditions?


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Packing House Worker Health & Hygiene

1. Are employee facilities (locker rooms, lunch, and break areas, etc.) clean and located away from the packing area?


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2. If there is a written policy regarding the use of hair nets/beard nets in the production area, is it followed by all employees and visitors?


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3. If there is a written policy regarding the wearing of jewelry in the production area, is it followed by all employees and visitors?


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Packing House General Housekeeping

1. Are only food-grade approved and labeled lubricants used in the packing equipment/machinery?


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2. Are chemicals not approved for use on products stored and segregated away from the packing area?


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3. Are the plant grounds reasonably free of litter and debris?


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4. Are the plant grounds reasonably free of standing water?


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5. Are outside garbage receptacles/dumpsters closed or located away from packing facility entrances, and is the area around such sites reasonably clean?


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6. Are packing facilities enclosed?


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7. Is the packing facility interior clean and maintained in an orderly manner?


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8. Do floor drains appear to be free of obstructions?


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9. Are pipes, ducts, fans, and ceilings over food handling operations clean?


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10. Are glass materials above product flow zones contained in case of breakage?


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11. Is possible wastewater spillage prevented from contaminating any food handling area by barriers, drains, or a sufficient distance?


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12. Is there a policy describing procedures that specify the handling/disposition of finished product that is opened, spilled, or comes into contact with the floor?


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13. Are only new or sanitized containers used for packing the product?


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14. Are pallets and containers clean and in good condition?


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15. Are packing containers properly stored and protected from contamination, such as birds, rodents, and other pests?


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Pest Control

1. Are measures taken to exclude animals and pests from packing and storage facilities?


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2. Is there an established pest control program for the facility?


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3. Are service reports for the pest control program available for review?


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4. Are the interior walls, floors, and ceilings well-maintained and free of major cracks and crevices?


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Traceability

1. Are records kept to document the source of incoming products and the destination of outgoing products, with unique identification enabling traceability?


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Product, Containers & Pallets

1. Is the storage facility cleaned and maintained in an orderly manner?


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2. Are bulk storage facilities inspected for foreign material before use, and are records maintained for these inspections?


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3. Are storage rooms, buildings, and/or facilities sufficiently sealed or isolated to protect them from external contamination?


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4. Are storage grounds reasonably free of litter and debris?


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5. Are floors in storage areas reasonably free of standing water?


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6. Is possible wastewater spillage prevented from contaminating any food handling area through the use of barriers, drains, or sufficient distance?


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7. Is there a policy describing procedures for handling/disposition of finished product that is opened, spilled, or comes into contact with the floor?


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8. Are packing containers properly stored and sufficiently sealed to protect them from contamination by birds, rodents, pests, and other contaminants?


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9. Are pallets, pallet boxes, tote bags, portable bins, etc., clean and in good condition, ensuring they do not contribute foreign material to the product?


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10. Is the product stored outside in totes, trucks, bins, or other containers, or on the ground in bulk covered and protected from contamination?


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11. Are non-food grade substances such as paints, lubricants, pesticides, etc., not stored in close proximity to the product?


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12. Is mechanical equipment used during the storage process clean and maintained to prevent contamination of the product?


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Pest Control

1. Are measures taken to exclude animals and pests from storage facilities?


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2. Is there an established pest control program for the facility?


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3. Are service reports for the pest control program available for review?


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4. Are interior walls, floors, and ceilings well-maintained and free of major cracks and crevices?


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Ice & Refrigeration

1. Does the water used for cooling, humidity control, and/or making ice meet the microbial standards for drinking water?


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2. Are manufacturing, storage, and transportation facilities used in making and delivering ice for sanitizing the product sanitized?


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3. Are climate-controlled rooms monitored for temperature, and are logs maintained?


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4. Are thermometer(s) checked for accuracy, and are records available for review?


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5. Is temperature control equipment condensation prevented from coming in contact with produce?


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6. Are refrigeration equipment (condensers, fans, etc.) and dehumidifiers cleaned on a scheduled basis?


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7. Is iced product prevented from dripping on pallets of produce stored below?


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Transportation

1. Before the loading process, are conveyances required to be clean, in good physical condition, and free from disagreeable odors, and obvious dirt/debris?


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2. Are produce items not loaded with potentially contaminating products?


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3. Does the company have a written policy for transporters and conveyances to maintain a specified temperature(s) during transit?


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4. Are conveyances loaded in a manner that minimizes damage to the product?


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Worker Health And Personal Hygiene

1. Are employee facilities (such as locker rooms, lunch and break areas, etc.) clean and located away from storage, shipping, and receiving areas?


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2. Is the written policy regarding the use of hair/beard nets in the storage and transportation areas being followed by all affected employees and visitors?


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3. Is the written policy restricting the wearing of jewelry in the storage and transportation areas being followed by all affected employees and visitors?


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Traceability

1. Are records kept regarding the source of incoming products and the destination of outgoing products, which are uniquely identified to enable traceability?


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Secure Employee/Visitor Procedures

1. Does the company have a documented food defense plan, and has a person been designated to oversee it?


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2. Has food defense training been provided to all employees?


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3. Are employees aware of whom in management they should contact about potential security problems/issues?


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4. Are visitors required to check in (showing proof of identity) and out when entering/leaving the facility?


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5. Is the purpose of visitation to the site verified before admittance to the facility?


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6. Are visitors prohibited from the packing/storage areas unless accompanied by an employee?


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7. Are incoming and outgoing employee and visitor vehicles subject to inspection?


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8. Do parked vehicles belonging to employees and visitors display a decal or placard issued by the facility?


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9. Is staff prohibited from bringing personal items into the handling or storage areas?


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10. Is staff access in the facility limited to the area of their job function and unrestricted areas?


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11. Is management aware of which employees are on the premises and the area they are assigned to?


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12. Is a system of identification of employees established and enforced?


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Secure Facility Procedures

1. Are uniforms, name tags, or identification badges collected from employees before the termination of employment?


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2. Is the mailroom located away from the packing/storage facilities?


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3. Is computer access restricted to specific personnel?


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4. Is a system of traceability of computer transactions established?


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5. Is a minimum level of background checks established for all employees?


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6. Are routine security checks of the premises performed for signs of tampering, criminal, or terrorist activity?


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7. Is the perimeter of the facility secured by fencing or other deterrent?


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8. Are checklists used to verify the security of doors, windows, and other points of entry?


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9. Are all keys to the establishment accounted for?


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10. Does the facility have an emergency lighting system?


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11. Is the facility enclosed?


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12. Are storage or vehicles/containers/trailers/railcars that are not being used kept locked?


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13. Have delivery schedules been established?


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14. Is the off-loading of incoming materials supervised?


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15. Does the organization have an established policy for rejecting deliveries?


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16. Are unauthorized deliveries not accepted?


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17. Does the company not accept returned (empty) containers for packing products unless they are sanitized containers intended for reuse?


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18. Has the company identified the individual(s), with at least one backup, who is responsible for recalling the product?


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19. Has the company performed a successful mock recall of the product to the facility?


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20. Is product imported from outside the United States segregated from domestic products?


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21. Are allergens handled by the facility segregated from products to avoid cross-contamination?


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22. Are floor plans, product flow plans, and/or segregation charts kept in a secure location?


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23. Is the organization registered with the FDA, and is a registration number issued?


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Active And Effective Traceability And Recall Program

1. Are all questions about the traceability and recall program scored as "Yes"?


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2. Is the USDA GAP logo used only on packages, containers, or consumer units that are traceable?


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Approved Suppliers

1. Has the operation supplied a list of approved suppliers to the local Federal or State auditor's office?


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2. Are all suppliers currently in use by the operation listed on the supplied list of approved suppliers?


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3. Have all suppliers successfully completed and met the requirements of a USDA-approved GAP audit (such as USDA GAP, Commodity Specific Audit, USDA Harmonized GAP Audit, or USDA Harmonized GAP Plus+ Audit)?


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Food Safety Plan Or Quality Manual

1. Does the operation's food safety plan or quality manual contain procedures on how the USDA GAP logo will be used?


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2. Is there a designated person responsible for the control of inventory bearing the logo?


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Containers Or Labels With GAP Logo

1. Are all packaging or labels bearing the GAP logo accountable items?


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2. Is the operation's inventory list of these packaging or labels maintained and current?


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3. Is the logo only used on packaging and labels that are clean and bright in appearance, without marks, stains, or other evidence of previous use?


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4. Is the logo only used on products, processes, and packaging as approved on the SC-652?


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Implementation Of A Food Safety Program

1. Is a documented food safety program, which includes Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), implemented?


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2. Has the operation designated someone to implement and oversee an established food safety program?


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Checklist by GoAudits.com – Please note that this checklist is intended as an example. We do not guarantee compliance with the laws applicable to your territory or industry. You should seek professional advice to determine how this checklist should be adapted to your workplace or jurisdiction.

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