Third-Party Auditing Food Safety Program

Shipping Point Inspection annually inspects and certifies the grades on more than 10 billion pounds of commodities. Idaho's commitment to quality is recognized throughout the United States and in the international arena. We are proud of the part we play in this endeavor. In order for our producers to sell their commodities to retailers, some have been required to have Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in place as well as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). This division is prepared to offer auditing programs to accomplish this.

Currently FF&V employees in four districts have been trained and licensed by USDA, SCI to conduct USDA GAP/GHP Audits. Licensing by USDA requires auditors to meet AMS ISAAP Auditor Criteria involving continual professional development, possessing personal attributes, and annual performance evaluations. Five employees are qualified to conduct third party audits, including Ranch, Harvest, Packinghouse, Greenhouse and Storage/Distribution.

Food Safety Logo "You Care, We Care" ISDA Food Safety Program

The USDA Audit Checklist (pdf) has a general questions section that applies to all audit types. The remainder of the checklist is broken into sections. In addition to the general questions, the audit can include any or all of the following applicable areas:
General questions;
Farm Review;
Field Harvest and Field Packing Activities;
House Packing Facility;
Storage and Transportation;
Wholesale Distribution Center/Terminal Warehouses; and
Preventative Food Defense Procedures has been added at buyers request.

The Field Operations and Harvesting Harmonized Food Safety Standard and Post-harvest Operations Harmonized Food Safety Standard have been developed and are being used by USDA Specialty Crop Inspection Division as well as private third party auditing firms. This type of audit was created by a committee consisting of growers, packers, shippers, buyers and auditors. The audit is not owned by any one company or agency and is gaining acceptance from the produce industries nationwide. USDA Specialty Crop Inspection Division has created a Checklist based on the Harmonized Standards that are available as follows.

Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standard Field Operations & Harvesting- USDA Checklist Version 1.4 (Excel)

Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standard Field Operations & Harvesting- USDA Checklist Version 1.4 (pdf)

Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standard Post-harvest Operations- USDA Checklist

It is recommended to ask buyers if they will accept Harmonized Audits for the commodity(s) in question

The audits achieving passing scores or acceptance criteria are listed on the USDA website by commodity and company audited. Only the company name and address, sections covered by the audit, and the audit date are shown. Scores are not posted.

  • USDA requires an agreement for participation (pdf) be filled out and signed before an audit can be performed. You can download the form at the above link. The audit agreement is numbered page 1 of 2 and 2 of 2. Fill in the company information at the top of page 1 and the Name of Applicant, Title, Signature, and date under "Approved by" on page 2 then return the signed agreement to the Parma office by mail, fax, or email.

    Idaho State Dept. of Agriculture, Food Safety Program,
         PO Box 969, Blackfoot, ID 83221

    Sherri Horrocks at 208-785-4042; or

         Email; Sherri Horrocks ( has different audit forms for each audit category. Self audits and guidelines for these audits are available for download or viewing for each of the following audit categories:

Harvest Crew;
Storage and Distribution Center;
Cooling/Cold Storage;
Processing with HACCP;
Packing House with HACCP; and
Packing House.

Once the Primus audit tour and question session is completed, the auditor will access the internet to answer the audit questions on PrimusLabs' secured intranet. When the auditor has completed all the questions, he or she will submit the audit. This sends immediate e-mail results to everyone the auditee has stated should receive a copy, including the auditor. It is sent as a pdf document. Each question and auditor response is shown, and recommendations are also included for any question that did not receive total compliance. If the auditee decides later that a copy should have been sent to someone else, the auditor can still send the results. Hard copies can also be provided upon request.

Both auditing programs audit the produce industry's adherence to FDA's Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (pdf).

View our fee schedule for affiliated audits (pdf).

View our fee schedule for USDA GAP / GHP audits (pdf).

For more information on our auditing program please contact Sherri Horrocks by email or phone (208) 785-8017.