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Home > Feature Articles > Restaurant and Institutional Best Practice Strategies for Food Management

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Consumers & Farmers

GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practices, and they are a new approach to improve food safety, especially in large, intense corporate food production "factories".

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Food safety is a growing concern with recent scares both with mass produced US foods and imported foods. Small, local farmers are feeling pressure to adopt food safety guidelines and practices designed for huge food operations, and are feeling the pinch. Consumers need to educate themselves about a new set of food safety guidelines, "GAP" -- Good Agricultural Practices -- and then work with their local food suppliers for realistic food production practices that can still provide healthful, organic and locally farmed foods that are living -- not sterile. There is a difference, and there are also different production methods and standards that have been largely safe for thousands of years.

We hope you will check out the processes used by your food suppliers and hold large facilities accountable in a way that fits their intense production methods -- and hold small farmers, organic farmers, and CSA farmers to a set of standards that are appropriate for them.

And don't forget that a consumer's responsibility for food safety doesn't cease at the cash register. Caring for food with proper storage, cleansing, preparation, proper temperature, and rapid use are vital to food safety.

University of California GAP Information Sites

UC also provides a number of publications to improve the safety of edible horticultural crops.

Key Points of Control and Management of Microbial Food Safety: Information for Growers, Packers, and Handlers of Fresh-Consumed Horticultural Products (UC Pub PDF 74k)

Key Points of Control and Management for Microbial Food Safety: Edible Landscape Plants and Home Garden Produce (UC Pub PDF 71k)

Cantaloupe Brochure (PDF 3290k)

Key Points of Control and Management of Microbial Food Safety: Information for Producers, Handlers, and Processors of Melons (PDF 76k)

Key Points of Control and Management of Microbial Food Safety: Information for Producers, Handlers, and Processors of Fresh Market Tomatoes (PDF 182k)

Online GAP Food Safegy Course - Cornell University

Cornell University provides an Online Produce Safety Course

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