The acronym GAPs stands for Good Agricultural Practices. These practices are intended to help prevent microbial, chemical and physical contamination of fresh produce at the farm level up to and including harvest. Microbial contaminants include viruses, bacteria and protozoan parasites that cause human illnesses. These contaminants can come from animal feces, irrigation water or even workers handling the produce. As most produce crops are grown outdoors, there are several potential sources for contamination to occur.
By adopting and implementing GAPs, you can identify the areas of highest risk and then start practices to prevent contamination from occurring. Most of the training in this online course will deal with prevention of microbial contamination, but chemical and physical contamination will also be discussed.