DOAG: Good Ag Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) Audit Program

Programs, Services, and Grant Opportunities


Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) Audit Programs


The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAG) is federally licensed by the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) to perform third party audits. These are voluntary, audit based programs that verify adherence to recommendations made in the Food and Drug Administrationís (FDA) Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.


USDA Third Party Audits offered by CT DoAG are:

  • USDA GAP & GHP Audit
  • Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standard & Checklist
  • Tomato Audit Protocol
  • Mushroom GAPs
Each audit process will include:
  • A review of the Farm/Businesses Food Safety Manual which includes the farm/businesses Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
  • An initial visit to review specified scopes and verify SOPs are being followed
  • At least one unannounced follow up visit as required by the program

Farms/businesses that meet the minimum requirements of the requested audit will receive a certificate from the USDA AMS and be listed on the USDA AMS website.  The audit results are valid for one year.


Preparation & Education:

CT DoAG cannot make recommendations on how to bring your farm/business into compliance to pass an audit. 


For education and training, contact University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension has educators that can assist you in preparing for an audit. For more information visit:


It is highly recommended that you first do a self audit.  The actual checklist used during the audit is available at the USDA AMS website.  Please visit this website for additional information about the USDA Audit Programs.




The cost of the audit is $92.00 per hour plus a $50.00 administration fee.  These fees are billed following the completion of the requested audit. 



Scheduling and Audit: 

To request an audit please fill out and return:

Partial or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

These items can be emailed, faxed, or mailed. 

Mailed:    Third Party Audit Program

               Bureau of Regulation and Inspection

     Connecticut Department of Agriculture

     165 Capitol Avenue, Room G8-A

     Hartford, CT 06106



Faxed:      (860) 713-2515

For more information about the Connecticut Department of Agricultureís USDA Third Party Audit program, contact:

Mark Zotti, Agriculture Marketing/Inspection Representative  

165 Capitol Avenue, G8-A  

Hartford, CT 06106

(860) 713-2580

Fax: (860) 713-2515