Sunday, April 11, 2010

University of Idaho Ag Extension News



University of Idaho Extension Updates Potato GAP Audit Manual

TWIN FALLS, Idaho—University of Idaho Extension has updated its Potato GAP Audit Organizational Manual to correspond with November 2009 changes in the USDA’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP) Audit Verification Checklist. The manual, available at http://www.kimberly.uidaho.edu/potatoes/gap.htm , is designed to simplify the collection of information necessary to pass the 2010 USDA GAP Audit.

Nora Olsen, a University of Idaho Extension potato specialist, says the manual revisions focused on three major program changes:

• new identification of records, policy or documentation requirements

• new numbering, wording or point values for previously asked questions

• new traceability and other questions

The GAP/GHP Audit Verification Program is a volunteer program designed to minimize unintentional microbial or chemical contamination of produce before it reaches the consumer. According to Olsen, many potato processors and fresh packers in Idaho require that the farming operations supplying them with produce be GAP certified.

The GAP audit process includes a visit by an Idaho State Department of Agriculture auditor, who fills out a checklist designed to assess the operation’s efforts to minimize the possibility of contamination. Olsen said the University of Idaho Extension Web-based manual coordinates standard farm operating procedures with the requirements of the checklist and its associated documentation.

The Potato GAP Audit Web site includes information on using the manual, step-by-step procedures on compiling it and photos showing what it should look like when completed.

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