To assist farmers in passing a USDA GAP certification, I determined which categories of the USDA GAP audit checklist have the most impact on the final score. Questions in each part (General, Part 1,2,3 and 4) were placed in categories such as equipment/containers, water/ice, facilities/storage, animals/pests, product handling, worker health and hygiene, bathroom and handwashing, traceability, sewage/waste, transportation, manure, and land history.
In Table 1, questions from all parts (General, Part 1, 2, 3 and 4) are ranked into categories and points were tallied. Each question number is labeled with a color to identify what action should be taken (as defined by the USDA GAP checklist):
- Record, red (a record is required to be kept showing an action was taken)
- Policy, blue (a policy/SOP must be documented in the food safety plan in order to show conformance to the question)
- Document, black (a document is required to show conformance to the question. May be a combination of a policy and a record indicating that an action was taken)
- Observation, green
Each question number is listed in the appropriate value column:
- 5 points
- 10 points
- 15 points
In Tables 2-6, each individual part has the questions divided into ranked categories. The points for each category are broken down into which action needs to be taken: record, policy, document or observation.
We encourage any comments/responses to this analysis of the USDA GAP audit.