Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for Almond Growers
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) provide guidelines to growers on how to minimize potential microbial hazards during production and harvesting of almonds. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) define procedures to be used by handlers to allow almonds to be processed, packed and sold under sanitary conditions. Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) ensure a clean and sanitary environment in the processing facility. Together, these programs provide a framework for a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program by proactively eliminating or minimizing potential sources of contamination.
The implementation of these management practices at the farm and manufacturing level will help minimize the risk of microbial contamination on almonds. At the farm level, GAPs focus on reducing--rather than eliminating--the sources of potential contamination. Elimination of all potential risks is considered impractical. For huller/shellers and handlers, food safety and quality are a function of a comprehensive food safety management system made up of GMPs, SSOPs and a carefully implemented Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program.