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Delaware Department of
Agriculture

Grading and Audits



Grading


Through cooperative agreements with the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food Products Inspection Program provides grading services to:

  • poultry plants,
  • shell egg plants,
  • fruit and vegetable growers, and brokers.

The section enforces the requirements of the Delaware Egg Law to ensure consumers are purchasing accurately labeled, fresh, high quality and wholesome eggs.

Audits


The Food Products Inspection staff provides Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) and Harmonized Food Safety Audits. These programs provide producers and suppliers of agricultural products the opportunity to assure customers of their ability to provide consistent quality products or services.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) verifies the programs by reviewing documents and performing independent third-party audits. USDA-AMS audit and accreditation programs are voluntary and services are provided by hourly user-fees. USDA-AMS provides audit and accreditation programs based on widely accepted audit principles, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standards, and/or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Principles and Guidelines.

For 2019, USDA has agreed to defray 100% of the costs associated with Harmonized GAP and Harmonized GAP Audits; in Delaware.  If USDA has covered 100% of the applicants successful audit, the applicant is still eligible for water testing reimbursement through the below cost-share program.

 

Cost-Share


This cost-share program is designed to assist Delaware fruit and vegetable growers with the cost associated with obtaining an third party food safety audit and the testing of their agricultural water.  Delaware growers can now receive financial support in obtaining a third party audit to verify they are following effective food safety practices. Audits verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. Part of verifying good agricultural and good handling practices is by ensuring the water used in crop production and postharvest activities is safe.

To be eligible for assistance, Delaware fruit and vegetable growers must meet the following
requirements:

  • Growers must have successfully completed a third-party USDA AMS or commercial audit.
  • Growers must submit receipts for the water tests preformed
  • All paperwork must be submitted to the Delaware Department of Agriculture between October 1,
    2018 and July 31, 2021, to be eligible for reimbursement. In the event of limited funds,
    preference will be given to audits on a first come, first serve basis until funds are depleted.

Visit the Overview and Application page for additional information on the Food Safety Audit Cost-Share program.

For more information on grading services or to request an audit, contact Food Products Field Supervisor Brenda Clements at 302-698-4546 or email Brenda.Clements@delaware.gov.
For more information on the cost-share program and services, contact Environmental Health Specialist II, Anna Wicks at 302-698-4582 or email Anna.Wicks@delaware.gov.

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