Good Agricultural Practices


Ranch:

The ranch audit is usually performed one time each year or during the growing season. The ranch audit is divided into sections that correspond to areas of potential contamination risk in the field operation. These areas include ranch history, adjacent land use, fertilizer usage, water usage, pest control, harvest practices, employee safety & hygiene and food security. A "ranch" is defined as a parcel of ground (not necessarily a "lot" for production purposes) with the following characteristics: common management, common water supply and contiguous grounds. For the purpose of farm or ranch audits, manual development or self-audits, a ranch or farm is defined as contiguous ground that is under common management.


Greenhouse:

The greenhouse audit is usually performed one time each year or during the growing season. The greenhouse audit is divided into sections that correspond to areas of potential contamination risk in the greenhouse operation. These areas include traceability, ground history, adjacent land, pest and foreign material controls, growing media, fertilizer/crop nutrition, irrigation/water use, plant protection, employee hygiene and food security. A harvest crew audit (see below for details) will be performed at the same time as the greenhouse audit module in order to assess areas of potential contamination risk in the harvesting operation. A greenhouse is defined as a building constructed of glass or plastic, for the cultivation of plants under controlled environmental conditions.


Harvest Crew:

The harvest crew audit is performed periodically during the harvest season. The harvest crew audit is divided into sections that correspond to areas of potential contamination risk in the harvesting operation. These areas include employee safety & hygiene, harvest practices and food security. A 'harvest crew' is defined as a crew of harvest personnel under common management.


Good Manufacturing Practices


Packinghouse:

The packinghouse audit questions are used to assess the facility's food safety program. The audit is comprised of two main sections: a Good Manufacturing Practices section and a Food Safety File Requirements section. The audit encompasses the areas of pest control, equipment, sanitation, employee hygiene practices, and all other operational practices and documentation as they relate to food safety. Food security is also addressed. A 'packinghouse' is where whole commodities are prepared and packed for commercial distribution after being subjected to processes such as sorting, washing, weighing, etc. Some buyers require certain operations in packinghouses to implement a HACCP plan. For this situation it is possible to choose the 'Packinghouse plus HACCP' option.


Processing:

The processing audit questions are used to access the facility's food safety program as it applies to Good Manufacturing Practices under 21 CFR, part 110, and relevant parts of the Food Code, 2001 (FDA/USPHIS), including HACCP requirements. The audit is comprised of three main sections: a Good Manufacturing Practices section and a Food Safety File Requirements section and a HACCP section. HACCP can be optional, but many buyers require HACCP to be included. The audit encompasses the areas of pest control, equipment, sanitation, employee hygiene practices, and all other operational practices and documentation as they relate to food safety including HACCP plans. Food security is also addressed.


Cooling/Cold Storage:

The cooling/cold storage audit questions are used to assess the facility's food safety program. The audit is comprised of two main sections: Good Manufacturing Practices section and a Food Safety File Requirements section. The audit encompasses the areas of pest control, equipment, sanitation, employee hygiene practices, and all other operational practices and documentation as they relate to food safety. Food security is also addressed. A 'cooling/cold storage facility' is where product is temporarily stored prior to distribution in order to maintain the proper temperature. Pre-cooling processes (ice injectors, hydrovac, pressure cooling, etc.) may also be used in the daily operations.


Storage and Distribution:

The Storage & Distribution audit questions are used to assess the facility's food safety program. The audit is comprised of two sections: Good Manufacturing Practices section and a Food Safety File Requirements section. The audit encompasses the areas of pest control, equipment, sanitation, employee hygiene practices, and all other operational practices and documentation as they relate to food safety. Food security is also addressed. A 'storage and distribution facility' is where generally large retailers, foodservice companies or distribution companies store product temporarily prior to further distribution to local markets. It also includes terminal market operations where multiple companies are located on one site from which all companies distribute independently.


HACCP for Fresh-Cut Processing Operations:

HACCP is an acronym for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. HACCP is a preventative system of hazard control. It is a common sense, risk-based approach designed to establish strategies to prevent, eliminate or reduce the occurrence of food contamination. This system requires control over all aspects of a food production operation. The raw materials, process, environment, personnel, storage and distribution are all factors that are considered.

The FDA has mandated HACCP in the seafood and juice industry & the USDA (under FSIS) has mandated HACCP in the meat and poultry industries. In addition, HACCP has been endorsed worldwide by organizations such as CODEX Alimentarius (a commission of the United Nations), the European Union and countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

PrimusLabs, being well versed in these HACCP principles, is able to provide a customized HACCP program to our clients and assist in the implementation, monitoring, technical support and troubleshooting of the program. PrimusLabs provides bilingual training of client personnel in all aspects of the HACCP program to verify the completeness and performance of a company's HACCP plan.


Other Protocols


GlobalGAP

The GlobalGAP program certifies growers (producers in their terminology). It is administered by a group based in Germany called FoodPlus. It covers food safety, sustainability, environmental and worker social welfare issues. GlobalGAP includes annual inspections of the producers and additional unannounced inspections. After certification, the producer may only use the GlobalGAP logo/trademark on business to business communications; it cannot appear on any packaging that the consumer might see. FoodPlus owns and controls all information and data associated with this program.


Tesco Nurture Scheme

Tesco NURTURE is a standard required of producers supplying Tesco with fresh fruit, vegetable and salad products. It makes sure that best agricultural practices are applied in the production of the produce. Certification depends on growers demonstrating that their produce is grown and handled in a manner which meets regulatory requirements, protects the environment and is safe plus meeting the high expectation of Tesco customers. NSF-CMi is operating as the registrars for the scheme on behalf of Tesco and manages the grower registration and certification process.


Global British Retail Consortium Standard

The Standard is designed to provide certification for food manufacturers who implement good manufacturing practices and have the supporting quality management systems to produce safe, legal product meeting their customer’s quality requirements.The Standard can be applied to any food processing or packing operation where open food is handled, processed or packed. This may range from primary products (such as fresh produce pack houses and slaughter houses) to processed foods, canneries and high risk ready to eat products. In some sectors, such as fresh produce, guideline documents are available to assist with interpretation.


México Calidad Suprema

At Food Industry is necessary to offer Products with an excellent quality in order to be competitive at national e international markets. In this sense PrimusLabs offers third party audits services to evaluate the program Mexico Calidad Suprema "Official Seal that guarantees the superior food safety and quality of Mexican products, mainly agro alimentary and fishing". The Objective of this program is to support the Mexican producers so that they can certify the quality and food safety of their products, it permits that the safety and confidence for the health of the consumer are guaranteed.