Food safety and food production are inseparable. In order to sell food to buyers, food safety protocols needed to be followed. After the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it is more important than ever to adhere to a food safety plan. In addition to federal food safety rules, the Indiana State Department of Health also has rules to follow. Further complicating matters, Indiana is a home-rule state, which means that the county department of health has a lot of leeway when it comes to implementing and enforcing food safety rules.

While there are many mandatory rules that are required of every farmer producing food for human consumption, there are also voluntary food safety rules and audits. The two main voluntary audit programs are Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP). Oftentimes, distributors and other buyers of farm produce require a successful audit under these two programs. More information can be found at the USDA’s page on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP).

Produce growers:  To find out about your compliance requirements or if you are exempt to the FSMA rules, see: FDA FSMA Flowchart

Farmers’ Market Growers: food safety and GAPs trainings for 2017-18!

Good Agricultural Practices refers to ways of farming that minimize the risk of contamination of nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

GroupGAP is an option for many small and medium sized producers because the group can share in the cost of the audit and certification.

Good Handling Practices refers to ways of handling and storing post-harvest produce that minimizes the risk of contamination.


Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP) – USDA
This site has more information on GAP and GHP, including how to request an audit and other audit possibilities.

Food Safety for Fruit and Vegetable Farms – Purdue Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
There are many resources for wholesale producers, direct markets, farmers’ markets, homemade food, home gardeners, and consumers. This site lists training events that take place across the state of Indiana.

Safe Produce Indiana – Purdue Extension
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) includes The Produce Rule, which covers fresh produce operations. This site will be your resource for FSMA training and information.

Videos explaining Produce Safety for Growers:

FSMA Produce Rule 1   Introductory Video:

FSMA Produce Rule 2   Farm vs Facility and 25K Rule:

FSMA Produce Rule 3 Rarely Consumed Raw and Personal Use:

FSMA Produce Rule 4 Processing Crops:

FSMA Produce Rule 5 Qualified Exemptions: