Write a GAP Food Safety Plan:

Models, templates, and record keeping forms

A food safety plan

As efforts continue to reduce the numbers of people getting sick from food that is grown, processed, and prepared in Connecticut (and elsewhere), more operations are being asked to develop a food safety plan of some sort.  Some may call it a HACCP Plan (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), others may call it a GAP plan or a simply a food safety plan.  

No matter the title, the development and implementation of a food safety plan requires that the operator of the farm or restaurant or processing plan think about all of the steps that their food product goes through from the time it shows up at the back door of the operation (as plants, seeds, or ingredients) until it leaves from the front door on its way to the buyer.

While you may be using safe agricultural or food handling practices, writing a food safety plan makes those practices visible to your customer via written plans and practices and records that document your food safety practices.  It will help to hold you accountable to the food safety policies, programs and practices you say you are following.  It could be useful should their ever be an outbreak tied to your operation.  Documentation that you are following food safety practices will work in your favor and may minimize any liability that you might incur.

Keep in mind that your plan is YOUR PLAN.  Each operation is different.  While you can look at models of food safety plans or use a template, be sure that what you end up with is appropriate and reflective of your operation….not a cut and pasted plan for some farm in New Jersey…. Don’t include things that you will not or cannot do. 

There are many resources available to help you write your food safety plan. 

Food Safety Plan Templates—fill in the blanks!

Be sure to personalize and make it reflect your operation.  Include your own logo, adjust any forms or records to meet your needs.

Model Food Safety Plans—see how others have done this

Take a look—is this something you might want to try?  You might like some things from one plan and something else from another. 

Record keeping forms

The audit program you choose will determine which records you will need.  You can determine how those forms are organized, written and used.   Here are some sources of sample records that you may want to use or adapt for your use, depending on your operation needs. 

On-Farm Food Safety has a variety of forms that can be downloaded and personalized for your use here:  http://onfarmfoodsafety.org/forms-and-templates/ .  These record keeping forms are based on the Harmonized Audit Standard.

Included are:

General Requirements

  • Food Safety Plan Audit Log
  • Standard Operating Procedure Worksheet
  • Deviations and Corrective Action Log
  • Example Traceback Log
  • Recall Information
    • Product Information
    • Contact Information
    • Recall Notification
    • Product Retrieval
    • Follow-Up Plan
  • Employee Training Log


Worker Health and Hygiene

  • Employee Training Log
  • Accident/Injury Form
  • Sewage & Septic Systems Equipment Inspection Log
  • Personal Hygiene Facility Cleaning Log
  • Break Area Cleaning Log

Previous Land Use and Site Selection

  • Risk Assessment Form
  • Agricultural Inputs Form

Agricultural Water

  • Agricultural Water Inspection Log
  • Risk Assessment Form
  • Water Testing Result Log
  • Employee Training Log

Agricultural Chemicals

  • Employee Training Log
  • Agricultural Chemical Inputs Form


Animals and Pest Control

  • Risk Assessment Form
  • Pest Control Log Form
  • Employee Training Log


Soil Amendments and Manure

  • Compost Time and Temperature Log
  • Agricultural Inputs Form


Field Harvesting

  • Employee Training Log
  • Equipment Inspection, Cleaning, Maintenance and Calibration Form
  • General Harvest Cleaning Log
  • Water Temperature Control and Monitoring
  • Water Treatment Log
  • Equipment List
  • Risk Assessment Form


Transportation (Field to Packinghouse)

  • Employee Training Log
  • Transportation Vehicle Inspection Log/Checklist
  • Equipment Inspection, Cleaning, Maintenance and Calibration Form

Packinghouse Activities

  • Approved Raw Materials List
  • Equipment Inspection, Cleaning, Maintenance and Calibration Form
    Preventative Cleaning/Maintenance Schedule
  • Cleaning, Maintenance, and Repair of Buildings Checklist
  • Water Treatment Log
  • Water Temperature Control and Monitoring
  • Risk Assessment Form
  • Cooler Temperature Log
  • Thermometer Calibration Log
  • Employee Training Log


Final Product Transport

  • Transport Vehicle Inspection Log/Checklist
  • Equipment Inspection Form
  • Refrigerated Vehicle Temperature Monitoring
  • Employee Training Log

Additional sources of record keeping forms include:

Cornell University Department of Food Science

Penn State Extension Checklists and Forms