Farmers & Growers
Produce Safety and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
Fruits and vegetables continue to be associated with foodborne illness outbreaks, including, but not limited to lettuce, spinach, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions.
Using good agricultural practices (GAP) is one way that farmers and growers can reduce the risk of microbial contamination of the fruits and vegetables they produce. GAP programs address the safety of water, manure use, sanitation, and personal hygiene practices on the farm, in the field, during harvest, packing, and transportation.
(This site focuses on farmers who grow fruits and/or vegetables to sell. If you are a home gardener or hobby farmer, go here to learn how to grow safe food in your garden.)
Food Safety Modernization Act: Produce Safety Rule
The Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) outlines science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fresh fruits and vegetables.
In Connecticut, the compliance activities related to the Rule are the jurisdiction of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg).
Tools for farmers: links in the right side menu
Farmers preparing to comply with the Rule, and/or choosing to make safe production and handling a business priority may want to:
- Attend a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training course
- Participate in an On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) or other one-on-one informational visit from UConn Extension personnel
- Participate in Market Access Programs for certain buyers of fresh produce, such as the Connecticut GAP or CGAP program of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture or other third party audit programs
- Use tools for meeting Rule standards, implementing Good Agriculture Practices, writing food safety plans and developing traceback programs
Sign up here to be added to our Produce Safety mailing list- be informed about the Produce Safety Rule, produce safety issues, GAP audits and programs, and more.