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:
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.
Mail; Idaho State Dept. of Agriculture, Food Safety Program,
PO Box 745, Blackfoot, ID 83221
Fax; Sherri Horrocks at 208-785-4042; or
Email; Sherri Horrocks (Sherri.Horrocks@agri.idaho.gov).
PrimusLabs.com 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:
Storage and Distribution Center;
Processing with HACCP;
Packing House with HACCP; and
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). Also helpful for the farm, ranch, and harvest crew audits is Cornell University's Food Safety Begins on the Farm.
View our fee schedule for PrimusLabs.com affiliated audits (pdf).
View our fee schedule for USDA GAP / GHP audits (pdf).
For more information on our auditing program or to schedule an audit, please contact Sherri Horrocks by email or phone (208) 785-8017.