Mind the GAP: Traceability and Recall

Hey folks! Welcome back to our food safety series! The next component in the GAP audit has to do with traceability and recall. Essentially, do you have a plan in place to trace where your products in place, and do you have procedures established in the event of a recall. Here's what that section of the audit form looks like:

For the most part, if you are selling on a local scale directly to your customers, your plan is probably fairly simple. Generally, you only need to be able to trace one step forward and one step backwards in the supply chain. 

Here's what the traceability piece of your food safety plan might look like:

You should include your recall plan as an appendix to your food safety plan. 

Below is what should be included in a recall plan:



You should conduct a mock audit once a year and keep a record of that mock audit. I made a little comic with the help of a handsome fellow I met at a coffee shop of what this mock audit would be like:

Mind the GAP: Food Safety Plan and Accountability

The biggest and most daunting piece of GAP certification is the written food safety plan. This is probably going to be a 40-some page document. However, there are many resources available to help you create this document. If you're ready to dive straight in, check out familyfarmed.orgonfarmfoodsafety.org, and WSDA's Bridging the GAPs series. Once you have completed your food safety plan, you really only need to do some simple record keeping to make sure you are sticking to your plan and you should be able to pass your audit with little trouble.

The first section of the food safety plan has to do with accountability. Basically, you need to specify one person who in responsible for food safety on your farm. This is a mandatory piece of your food safety plan, and if you miss this section, you will automatically fail your audit. Here's what the question looks like on the audit:

Your food safety plan should include something along these lines to meet this requirement:

Onfarmfoodsafety.org is an excellent resource for creating your food safety plan, and a lot of this blog series will be information directly from that website. According to their website, here are some best practices for this section:

-Accountability can be with one person or a number of individuals with designated responsibilities.

-Personnel with food safety responsibilities should receive training sufficient to their responsibilities (e.g. completed at least one formal food safety course/workshop or by job experience) and demonstrate a knowledge of food safety principles. This person should exhibit good food safety practices and encourage crew supervisors to set a good example.

-All farm employees need to be made aware of who is responsible/accountable for food safety onsite.