Good Agricultural Practices Minimize Food Safety Risks
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) provide guidelines to California Almond growers on how to minimize potential hazards during production and to recognize and address sources of potential contamination. California’s Almond industry is committed to providing consumers around the world with the highest level of confidence in its product. The Almond Board of California's Food Quality and Safety Program was developed in response to almond-associated outbreaks of Salmonella and detection of Salmonella in several orchard floor surveys.
At the farm level, GAPs focus on reducing the sources of potential microbial contamination. Growers who adhere to Good Agricultural Practices are not only minimizing the risk for almond consumers, they are also making a sound business decision.
The basic principles of GAPs are:
- Documentation and Traceability
- Employee Training
- Fertilizer and Soil Amendment Practices
- Water Quality and Source
- Field Sanitation and Worker Hygiene
- Orchard Floor Management
- Pest Control
- Harvest and Delivery Sanitation
GAPs improve working relationships between growers and huller/shellers by minimizing the potential for pathogens to spread in accompanying soil or debris. This will improve almond cleaning efficiency and effectiveness along the entire almond production channel.
Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables