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1 Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the Fresh Produce Industry The Arkansas Food Technology Educational Program Presents.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the Fresh Produce Industry The Arkansas Food Technology Educational Program Presents."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the Fresh Produce Industry The Arkansas Food Technology Educational Program Presents

2 2 Introduction  Fresh, raw fruit and vegetable consumption has increased due to consumer desire for a more healthy diet and lifestyle.  Reports of food-borne infections traced to fresh produce have raised food safety concerns.  Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) will reduce possible infection from eating fresh produce.  GAP principles must be customized for each produce operation.

3 3 Basic Principles 1.Fresh produce can be contaminated at any point along the farm to table chain. The major contaminant is human or animal feces. 2.The quality of any water contacting the produce, dictates the potential for contamination. Minimize the potential contamination by assuring water quality. 3.Prevention of contamination is favored over corrective action after contamination has occurred. 4.GAP principles should be used by growers, packers and shippers of fresh produce.

4 4 Basic Principles, Continued 5.Fertilization with animal manure or sewage sludge should be closely managed to minimize contamination. 6.The hygiene (cleanliness) of workers who contact produce during production, harvesting, packing and transport is critical in the prevention of contamination. 7.All laws and regulations of any governmental agency must be followed. 8.All functions of production, harvesting, packing and transporting must be monitored by qualified persons. Records must be kept to allow product to be tracked in case of contamination.

5 5 Water Quality  Water can be a carrier of many disease causing microorganisms.  Even small amounts of contamination with some organisms can result in food-borne illness.  The quality of water which contacts edible portions of produce must be high to avoid contamination.  Water should be adequate for its intended use. Water quality dictates the potential for contamination of fresh produce.

6 6 Agricultural Water 1.Identify the source and distribution of water used and be aware of its relative potential as a source of pathogens. a.Streams and rivers b.Lakes and ponds c.Ground water from wells d.Municipal supplies 2.Maintain wells in good working condition. 3.Review existing practices and conditions to identify potential sources of contamination. a.Improperly managed human and animal wastes b.Animal access to water supplies

7 7 Agricultural Water, Continued 4.Be aware of current and historical use of land. a. Animal production practices in area b. Topography of area c. Potential for rain water run off 5. Consider practices that will protect water quality. a.Water ways b.Runoff control structures c.Vegetative buffer zones

8 8 Agricultural Water. Continued 6. Consider irrigation water quality and use a. Exposing edible portion of crop to irrigation water increases the risk of microbial contamination. b. Limit irrigation near date of harvest. c. Use drip or furrow irrigation. d. With water of good quality, contact with crop is less risky.

9 9 Microbial Testing of Agricultural Water 1.Water can be tested for contamination on a regular basis. 2.Test results of water from public supplies are available. 3.Surface water contamination may vary widely in a short time. 4.Producers should consult local water quality experts for information on individual operations.

10 10 Water for Processing Processing water should be of such quality that it does not contaminate produce. 1.Quality needs will vary depending on stage of processing. Final wash must be of highest quality, but first wash may be of lower quality. 2.Water should be of drinkable quality. 3.Counter flow of water and produce in reuse systems is recommended. 4.Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) found in 21 CFR 110 for water quality are strongly recommended even though not required for produce operations.

11 11 Water for Processing, Continued 1.Perform periodic water sampling and microbial testing. 2.Change water as necessary to maintain sanitary conditions. 3.Clean and sanitize water contact surfaces as necessary. 4.Install backflow devices and air gaps to prevent contamination of clean water with dirty water. 5.Inspect and maintain equipment such as chlorine injectors, filters and backflow devices. Consider practices that will ensure and maintain water quality.

12 12 Water for Processing, Continued Prevention of contamination is preferred over application of antimicrobial chemicals after contamination occurs. 1.Chemical sanitizers can aid in controlling water bacterial load. 2.All chemical sanitizers for food contact must be used as directed by FDA and EPA. 3.Sanitizers must be used according to label directions. 4.Levels of usage must be monitored and recorded. 5.Organic load (dirt) will decrease sanitizer efficacy. 6.Surface treatment of equipment with some chemicals must be followed by a clean water rinse.

13 13 Washing Produce 1.Use appropriate wash method. a. Vigorous washing with brushes if possible. b. Delicate items may require submersion and/or spray. 2.Maintain efficacy of wash treatments. a. Equipment must be properly adjusted. b. Chemical antimicrobials may be needed. 3.Some produce is sensitive to warmer water temperatures or high pressure sprays. a. Chemical antimicrobial spray followed by fresh water rinse instead of submersion. b. Dry cleaning with brushes or air blast can be used. 4.Ionizing radiation (up to 1kGy) may be used. Washing fresh produce can reduce the overall potential for food safety hazards.

14 14 Cooling Operations 1.Maintain temperatures that promote optimum produce quality 2.Maintain air cooling equipment and cooling areas. 3.Use antimicrobial chemicals if needed. 4.Manufacture, transport and store ice under sanitary conditions. 5.Keep cooling water and ice clean and sanitary. 6.Maintain equipment in clean and sanitary condition. Producers must take steps to protect cooling operations from contamination.

15 15 Manure and Municipal Biosolids 1.Growers should follow good agricultural practices for handling animal manure or biosolids to minimize microbial hazards. 2.Good agricultural practices for the use of animal manure or biosolids include treatments to reduce pathogens. A. Passive treatment (aging) B. Active treatment (composting) 3.Maximize the time between application to production areas and harvest of the crops.

16 16 Manure and Municipal Biosolids, Continued 4.Review existing practices and conditions to identify potential sources of contamination. A. Manure storage and treatment sites should be as far as practicable from fresh produce production and handling. B. Physical containment to secure manure storage areas may be needed. C. Methods to contain leachate may be needed. D. Prevent recontamination by birds or rodents or farm machinery moving from contaminated to uncontaminated fields.

17 17 Animal Feces 1.Domestic animals should be kept out of fresh produce fields, vineyards and orchards during growing season. 2.Animal wastes from adjacent farm fields or lots must be prevented from entering growing areas. 3.Maximize the time between application to production areas and harvest of the crops. 4. Control of wildlife is necessary but difficult. Cooperation with local wildlife control agencies may be required to redirect wild animals to areas away from produce growing areas. Animal feces is a known source of pathogens that can cause foodborne illness.

18 18 Worker Health and Hygiene Be aware of existing state and Federal regulations regarding standards for worker health, hygiene and sanitation during growing, packing, holding and transport of human food. Infected employees who work with fresh produce increase the risk of transmitting foodborne illnesses. Train all employees to follow good hygienic practices.

19 19 Training of Workers Must Include 1.The importance of good personal hygiene. 2.The importance of handwashing with water, soap, a scrub brush and single service towels. 3.The importance of toilet facilities. Operators of road side produce stands or customer pick operations should encourage their patrons to consider these training ideas.

20 20 Sanitary Facilities 1.Toilet facilities should be located near work areas so workers will use them. 2.Toilet facilities should be located away from irrigation water or areas where storm runoff can flood the site. 3.Toilet facilities and handwashing stations should be well supplied with toilet paper, basin, water, liquid soap, paper towels and a trash container. 4.Facilities should be kept clean and attractive. 5.Use caution when servicing portable toilets so that fields are not contaminated. 6.Have a containment and treatment plan for any spill or leakage of sewage. Operations with poor management of human and other wastes will significantly increase the risk of contaminating produce.

21 21 Field Sanitation 1.Clean all harvest facilities prior to use. 2.Discard damaged containers which are no longer cleanable. 3.Clean containers or bins before transporting produce. 4.Remove as much dirt and mud as practicable in the field before transport. 5.Protect single service packing containers from contamination before use. 6.Keep all storage and holding areas clean. 7.Eliminate any pest harborages in the field and in packing sheds. 8.Maintain a pest control log.

22 22 Transportation Sanitation 1.Produce should not be shipped in unclean or open vehicles. Evaluate sanitary condition of every truck. 2.Product inspectors, buyers and other visitors should comply with good hygienic practices. 3.Maintain proper temperatures while shipping produce. 4.Load produce in a manner that will minimize physical damage leading to possible microbial contamination. The proper transport of fresh produce from farm to market will reduce the potential for contamination.

23 23 Traceback 1.Producers should identify each shipment as to: A. Product type B. Package size C. Labeling D. Lot numbers C. Date of packaging 2.Other documentation to be retained by the producer are: A. Date of harvest B. Workers who handled produce C. Unusual occurrences The ability to identify the source of a product is important in minimizing liability and preventing food safety problems.

24 24 Summary The application of the GAP principles to fruit and vegetable operations will decrease the possibility of food borne illnesses being transmitted by fresh produce.

25 25 Produced and Narrated by Jim Goff Adapted from: “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables” FDA Center for Food Safety and Nutrition. October, 1998 With input from: Luke Howard, PhD and Pam Brady, PhD For further information contact: Jim Goff University of Arkansas Institute of Food Science and Engineering 2650 N. Young Avenue Fayetteville AR 72704 (479) 575-3095 FAX (479) 575-2165 e-mail

26 26 For more information on Food Science contact: Steve Seideman, PhD Extension Food Processing Specialist Cooperative Extension Service University of Arkansas 2650 N. Young Avenue Fayetteville, AR 72704 (479) 575-4221 FAX (479) 575-6936

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