USDA GAP audit assistance manuals available
Michigan State University is now offering USDA GAP audit assistance manuals to help growers establish a food safety plan. Paper copies are available for $18 or can be downloaded for free from the NWMHRS website: http://www.maes.msu.edu/nwmihort/msu_GAP_Manual_5_4_09.doc.
This manual can serve as a general guide to food safety plans for certifying agencies other than USDA, but much of the information is specific to the USDA requirements. Many buyers/packers/processors are requiring some type of food safety certification for 2009; growers should communicate with their respective buyers before completing a food safety plan. If growers intend to undergo a USDA GAP audit this year, they will need to obtain the mandatory spring water testing analysis. For more information, please contact your local Extension educator.