Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) are voluntary audits that verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. GAP & GHP audits verify adherence to the recommendations made in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (pdf)
and industry recognized food safety practices. In West Virginia, these audits are conducted by WVDA personnel under the supervision of USDA. For more information about this service and associated training opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or contact the Agriculture Business Development Division at (304) 558-2210.
- Harmonized Plus
- Commodity Specific GAP (i.e. mushrooms)
- Cost Share information
For information about funding availability to reduce the financial audit burden on small to mid-size produce farms, please contact members of the WVDA GAP program to discuss your specific needs, approximate costs and if your audit level qualifies you for this WV grower incentive as you try to reach your marketing goals and channels. For additional information and application forms, contact email@example.com or contact the Agriculture Business Development Division at (304) 558-2210.
- Looking for a WV GAP audited firm? Go to the USDA page listing all recent successful GAP audits and the commodities available.
- Upcoming Trainings and Resources
- Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Trainings
This one day course is required for growers that are under FDA inspection and recommended for all growers as the cornerstone training and produce safety inspection program. An 8-hour course conducted by multi-agency personnel, the course provides you with the knowledge and tools needed for self-assessing and starting a preventive-based “food safety culture” at your farm. Attendance at the entire day is required for certification. Contact Dr. Doolaire Singh-Knights at West Virginia University (304) 293-7606DoSingh-Knights@mail.wvu.edu
- Writing Your Farm Food Safety Plan Trainings
- West Virginia Farm Food Safety Training Team
The West Virginia Farm Food Safety Training Team (WV FFSTT) is a multi-agency group with subject matter experts and resource providers from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia University Extension and West Virginia State University as well as specific topic trainers. In addition to being certified to teach the PSA Grower Trainings, this is group assists with On Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR’s) and direct one-on-one technical assistance to lead growers through the produce production and marketing process.
To contact this group and see who is available in your area, email firstname.lastname@example.org or (304) 558-2226 to contact the WVDA Produce Safety Program Manager.
- West Virginia Department of Agriculture Produce Inspection Team
Through a cooperative agreement with FDA, WVDA hosts the state’s FSMA Produce Inspection Unit. Farms that qualify for inspection under the PSR phase-in will work with these trained inspectors who are credentialized as food inspectors with FDA to conduct on farm inspections utilizing an “educate while and during regulating” methodology rather than the antiqued criteria check list format to encourage growers to develop a food safety “culture” on their farms. To schedule and inspection or determine your inspection status, email email@example.com or contact the Produce Program Manager at (304) 558-2226.