Writing standard operation procedures (SOP) for a food safety plan ensures important tasks are performed correctly whether the owner or supervisor is present or not. For farm owners, SOPs allow them to delegate responsibility among workers and help them better utilize their time. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) strongly suggests the use of SOPs. SOPs are a welcome addition to a GAP plan and USDA Harmonized GAP plans require written procedures for many of the HGAP standards.
An SOP needs to be tailored to meet the needs and to reflect the conditions of the particular farm for which it is written. Below are some SOP samples that can be modified to meet a farm's needs. Guidance for writing SOPs is also provided.
Harmonized GAP plans require visiting contractors to have knowledge of and adhere to the food safety standards of the farm. Here are two different approaches. The first lists the food safety requirements of a farm in a simple "house rules" bullet point format. The second, a fillable pdf, takes a more instructive approach and would be more appropriate for contractors with more involved interaction with the farm proceedings, but are not quite to the position of a volunteer or worker. Volunteers and workers require more extensive worker training. Tailor either one to meet your farm's requirements