The NCDA&CS, Division of Marketing, has begun a new program to certify that fruit and vegetable grower/packers meet new food safety guidelines. This program is an audit based verification service that reviews participants' adherence to the U.S Food and Drug Administration's Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP).
The Fresh Produce Audit Verification program is being initiated as a result of retailers asking North Carolina growers/packers to demonstrate adherence with "food safety" practices. Grower/packers who participate and pass the audit will receive certification that they meet GAP standards.
Participation by grower/packers is voluntary. The program is offered through the Cooperative Grading Service within the Division of marketing in cooperation with the USDA, Federal-State Inspection Service.
The audit program is a fee-based service. Participants are charged a fee based on the time required to conduct the audit and travel expenses of the auditor.
Grower/packers who successfully pass the Good Agricultural Practices audit verification will be listed on USDA and NCDA&CS websites.
For more information or to request a food safety audit call (252) 792-1672 or email Ronnie Wynn.
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