info on GAP
One of Only 12 Farms in Massachusetts Who Are GAP Certified
I will be in touch and thank you so much.¬† You are the best.¬† I mentioned to Hannaford’s the other day how impressive your operation was and how the GAP implementation on your farm was a model implementation.
-Michael (Commonwealth Quality Program Coordinator – Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources)
¬†Billingsgate Farm participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture‚Äôs (USDA) Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices (GAP&GHP) audit verification program.¬† The USDA GAP&GHP program verifies the farm has implemented a documented, verifiable food safety program which conforms to practices outlined in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration‚Äôs Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables as well as generally recognized food safety practices.
Participation in the USDA GAP&GHP program means Billingsgate Farm¬†is audited by a federal or state department of agriculture inspector who is trained and licensed by USDA and verifies the farm has taken proactive steps to reduce the risk of food safety hazards.¬† Some examples of proactive steps include performing a food safety assessment of the crops before they are harvested, verifying all workers have been trained on proper sanitation and hygienic practices, and that irrigation and wash water is tested and found to be of appropriate quality.¬† The program also requires a higher level of documentation to verify that best practices are being followed throughout the growing, harvesting and packing operations.¬† In addition, the program also includes unannounced ‚Äúspot checks‚ÄĚ to verify the farm continues to adhere to its food safety plan and the requirements of the USDA GAP&GHP Program.
The USDA GAP&GHP program is a voluntary, fee-for-service program offered nationwide by the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service, Fruit and Vegetable Programs in partnership with state departments of agriculture.¬† For more information visit www.ams.usda.gov/gapghp.