Good agricultural practices (GAPs) and good handling practices (GHPs) encompass the general procedures growers, packers, and processors of fresh fruits and vegetables should follow to ensure the safety of their product. GAPs usually address preharvest practices (i.e., in the field), while GHPs cover postharvest practices, including packing and shipping. This 3-page fact sheet covers the GAPs of transporting crops. This major revision is a part of the Food Safety on the Farm series and was written by Christopher R. Pabst, Jaysankar De, Alina Balaguero, Jessica Lepper, Renée Goodrich-Schneider, and Keith R. Schneider and published by the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in January of 2011 and is considered the most sweeping reform of food safety regulations in 70 years. The human food regulations were composed first and, with significant input from industry, academia, and consumer groups as well as other agencies, were then modified to better suit animal food production. In Florida, these new regulations apply to facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food or food ingredients for animals. These facilities may include pet food manufacturers, renderers, ethanol distillers, feed mills, distributors, and others. The primary goal of these regulations is to ensure safe food for the animals, people who handle the feed, and people who consume the final animal products. This 3-page fact sheet discusses requirements, facilities that will most likely be expected to be in compliance, deadlines, development of a food safety plan, and preventive controls qualified individuals. Written by Jason M. Scheffler and Chad Carr, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, December 2016.
While running your own food business can be a rewarding and exciting experience, it can be overwhelming and stressful. It is important to understand the pros and cons of running your own food business and decide if you are ready to pursue a food business venture. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Soohyoun Ahn, Renee Goodrich-Schneider, and Amarat H. Simonne, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, September 2014.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011, is the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years since the enactment of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938. High-profile foodborne outbreaks in the last decade and their impact on public health and the economy have exposed the need for a new, modern food safety system. FSMA aims to ensure the safety and security of the US food supply by focusing on preventing food safety problems rather than responding after they occur. This law provides the FDA with new enforcement authorities to achieve a higher rate of compliance with food safety standards and to respond better to problems. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Soohyoun Ahn, Keith R. Schneider, Michelle D. Danyluk, and Renee Goodrich-Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, April 2014.
This 9-page fact sheet serves as a reference for anyone concerned about the safety of fresh and frozen berry products. Providing information for those who grow, harvest, process, transport, and serve berries to consumers is important for improving science-based food safety programs for the entire supply chain. Table 1 lists the reported outbreaks of foodborne illness from 1983 through May 2013 in which specific berries and mixed berries have been identified as the food vehicle. Table 2 lists the reported outbreaks in which berries were likely the food vehicle.
Written by M. Palumbo, L. J. Harris, and M. D. Danyluk, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, November 2013.
A clean break is needed between groups of products for food protection regulators to consider produce as separate from other produce packed off the same line. Determining a clean break is important to limit the scope of a recall. Packers can determine lot size based on what is practical and the amount of risk that their business is comfortable with. Food protection regulators define lot size as when a clean break occurs before and after a group of products. For instance, if a packer chooses to have a daily documented and verified clean break, the packer would establish one lot per day, as defined by food protection regulators. In other situations, a packer may choose to have a clean break conducted weekly, meaning that a food safety incident could result in a week’s worth of production being recalled. This 2-page fact sheet was written by B. Chapman and M.D. Danyluk, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, August 2013.
The Food Safety Modernization Act that President Obama signed into law January 4, 2011 represents the most sweeping update to food safety regulation since the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. As part of FSMA, registration is required of facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Susanna Richardson, Renée Goodrich Schneider, Mark A. Ritenour, Michelle D. Danyluk, and Keith R. Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, July 2013.
Las Buenas Prácticas Agrícolas (BPA) y las Buenas Prácticas de Manejo (BPM) abarcan los procedimientos generales que los productores, empacadores y procesadores de frutas y verduras frescas deben seguir para garantizar la seguridad de sus productos. Las BPA son usadas antes de la cosecha (es decir, en el campo), mientras que las BPM se utilizan luego de la cosecha, incluyendo el empaque y envío. Esta serie se centra en aspectos específicos del programa de BPA y cómo se relacionan con los cultivos y las prácticas de la Florida.
This series of fact sheets was written by Federico G. Caro, Alexandra Chang, Renée Goodrich-Schneider, y Keith R. Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, February 2013.
Over the last two decades, at least a dozen major outbreaks of gastroenteritis caused by non-typhoidal Salmonella or enterovirulent E. coli have been linked to the consumption of sprouts, nuts, and fresh (or minimally processed) fruits and vegetables. These outbreaks caught scientists and the public off guard because these pathogens were not previously considered “plant-associated.” This 3-page fact sheet highlights recent discoveries that focus on the ecology of human pathogens in the crop production environment. A better understanding of how pathogens persist outside of animal hosts in agricultural water, soils, and plants will have major impacts on managing produce safety from “farm to fork.” Written by Max Teplitski, Andree George, and George Hochmuth, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, October 2012.
From 1990 to 2000, over 700 cases of foodborne illness were associated with outbreaks due to melon consumption in the U.S. and Canada. Even with efforts to educate industry and consumers of safe produce-handling practices, in the last decade there were still over 1,100 documented illnesses associated with melon consumption. This 45-page fact sheet highlights the research that has been done to provide insight on possible sanitation methods and their efficacy in decontaminating melon types of foodborne pathogens as well as natural microflora. Written by Thao P. Nguyen, Michelle D. Danyluk, and Keith R. Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, May 2012.
Tomato producers are committed to taking proactive steps to ensure and enhance the safety of their fresh-market tomatoes, but even with better food safety controls, the risk for outbreaks of illness associated with tomato consumption still exists. This 32-page fact sheet highlights current tomato safety related studies on the growth, reduction, and survival of bacteria on fresh-market tomatoes. The authors evaluated bacterial studies on natural antimicrobials and detergents, as well as food processing, cross-contamination, and shelf-life studies. Written by Angela M. Valadez, Keith R. Schneider, and Michelle D. Danyluk, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, May 2012.
These brief fact sheets are part of a collection that reviews the generally recognized principles of GAPs as they relate to produce, primarily at the farm level and with particular focus on fresh Florida crops and practices. Written by Keith R. Schneider, Renée M. Goodrich-Schneider, and Alexandra Chang, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, March 2012.
Many European importers and retailers will only buy produce, meat, and grain-based products that come from GlobalG.A.P-certified farms. Despite its environmental origins, the main concern is food safety, followed by worker welfare, and then ecological matters. There are slightly different versions for fresh fruit and vegetables, meat products, flowers and ornamentals, and combinable crops (grains and pulses). There is also an Integrated Farm Assurance version for farms with several types of operations taking place at once. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Richard C. Yudin and Keith R. Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, February 2012.
The FDA has recently mandated that all 100% fruit/vegetable juices sold wholesale be produced under a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. As part of their HACCP plan, juice processors must identify and meet a target for reduction of the most resistant microorganism of public health significance that is likely to occur in the juice. This 7-page fact sheet aids juice processors in the identification of these “pertinent microorganisms,” and reviews the locations of juice preparations and severity of juice-associated outbreaks. Written by M. D. Danyluk, R. M. Goodrich-Schneider, K. R. Schneider, L. J. Harris, and R. W. Worobo, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, January 2012.
Growers are the first step in the farm-to-table food chain. Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) refer to practices growers follow to prevent, minimize, or eliminate contamination and hazards to human health. Essential components of the GAPs process include careful planning, implementation, and documentation of required steps and procedures that together analyze and minimize risks imposed by biological, chemical, and physical hazards. The general guidelines presented in this document were developed by UF/IFAS for Florida citrus growers, in partnership with the citrus industry. This 8-page fact sheet was written by Michelle D. Danyluk, Renée M. Goodrich-Schneider, Keith R. Schneider, Mark A. Ritenour, and Timothy M. Spann, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, February 2012.
Fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural commodities that are processed, bottled, or packaged for human consumption must be prepared in accordance with statutes enacted by the Florida Legislature and rules administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). This 6-page fact sheet helps producers understand the rules governing direct marketing in Florida. Written by Bradley J. Burbaugh, Elena Toro, Amarat H. Simonne, Keith R. Schneider, Renée M. Goodrich-Schneider, Allen F. Wysocki, Arthur A. Teixeira, and John T. Fruin, and published by the UF Department of Family Youth and Community Sciences, March 2011.
FAMU007, a 2-page fact sheet by Ray Mobley and Carmen Lyttle-N'guessan, provides an overview of the science-based strategies for ensuring food safety at the producer level. Published by Florida A & M University Extension, September 2009.
AN222, a 4-page fact sheet by Larry Eubanks, Chad Carr, and Chris Pantaleo, presents the results of a study to determine the growth of generic E. coli and aerobic bacteria as indicators of pathogenic bacteria on beef muscle held at 50°F for eight hours. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, November 2009.
AN206, a 4-page fact sheet by C. Chad Carr and Larry Eubanks, reports the results of a study to determine the effect of not meeting the USDA’s suggested standard for chilling on the microbial growth and retail acceptability of bone-in, fully-cooked hams. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Animal Science, October 2008.
FE714, a 4-page fact sheet by Raymond Reyes and Edward Evans, provides a brief overview of the concept of GAPs and highlights some of the potential consequences of not instituting GAP guidelines into a
farm’s operation. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, October 2008.