Food Safety

Food safety! Risks and Regulations!  Where does my farm fit in?!

Confused about Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), or the Produce Safety Rule? Chesapeake Harvest can help!

We offer FREE, USDA Harmonized GAP aligned, Food Safety workshops and individualized consultations to farmers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Our FREE services for farmers in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, include:

  • Workshops for Food Safety beginners
  • On-farm risk assessments
  • One-on-one consultations
  • Access to USDA GAP training materials
  • Food Safety Plan templates

Simple steps to qualify

  1. Attend a Chesapeake Harvest workshop and/or have previous GAP training from your state
  2. Schedule a farm risk assessment (half day)
  3. Work with us to write a Food Safety Plan (half day)
  4. Schedule a USDA Harmonized GAP Audit within one year of starting the program (halfday)

Work with our team!

Elizabeth Beggins

Chesapeake Harvest Production Manager

Lindsay Gilmour

GAP Trainer & Food Safety Systems Educator

For more information, please contact us at:
or 410.690.7348

After you enroll in our program, we schedule a farm risk assessment to review things like water supply, post-harvest handling, and record keeping. This initial assessment lasts a couple of hours and prepares you to draft a written Food Safety Plan, an essential element of the eventual certification. Once the safety plan is written and implemented, the farm can schedule the USDA audit, often taking advantage of cost share programs available through their state’s Department of Agriculture.

Our programs align with recommendations from state Departments of Agriculture and Cooperative Extension staff.
(see Food Safety Fact Sheet 2018, page 2)

Without the help from Lindsay [and Chesapeake Harvest] we would still be lost and probably would not have completed the audit this year.

Lazy Boy Farm, Middletown, DE

If you have GAP phobia, we highly recommend that you work with Chesapeake Harvest. They will give you the resources and confidence to move forward and get certified.

Arnold Farms, Chestertown, MD

Like it or not, Food Safety concerns are here to stay. Driven by consumer demand, buyers are beginning to insist that the fruits and vegetables they purchase come with some level of safety assurance, like GAP certification. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration launched FSMA, a law that applies, in varying degrees, to all farms. Both FSMA and GAP demand attention from the farmer. To support regional growers with these challenges, Chesapeake Harvest helps your farm take the steps needed to be compliant and, ultimately, to achieve United States Department of Agriculture Harmonized GAP certification.

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