Forms and Record-keeping2017-11-29T13:54:08+00:00
How long must records be completed before I can become certified?2019-01-24T10:02:06+00:00

The Introduction to the CanadaGAP Food Safety manuals (VI. Iv. Document Retention) states:

At least three months of records prior to the date of the initial audit are required for those seeking CanadaGAP program certification. In the case of an adverse event (e.g., recall), records should be available upon request by the regulatory authority within 24 hours.

How long do records have to be kept?2019-01-24T09:47:25+00:00

The Introduction to the CanadaGAP Food Safety manuals (VI. Iv. Document Retention) states:

For participants on a yearly audit cycle: All sections in the CanadaGAP Food Safety Manual for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables or Greenhouse Product (1-24), forms, receipts, letters of assurance and certificates must be kept for a minimum of two years for audit, recall or other purposes.

For participants on a four-year audit cycle: All manual sections (1-24), forms, receipts, letters of assurance and certificates must be kept for a minimum of four years for audit, recall or other purposes. 

If an operation has a season that is shorter than 3 months (i.e., the time between the start date and harvest date is less than 3 months), how are they able to meet the CanadaGAP requirement of having 3 months of records available during their audit?2017-11-03T16:25:49+00:00

Generally speaking, CanadaGAP requires at least 3 months of records prior to the date of the initial audit. However, there are some cases where having 3 months of records can be difficult (i.e., due to a very short season). The Certification Bodies are aware that this is the case for some operations, and normally allow some flexibility in managing this. Depending on the crop, there is a possibility that even though a season is less than 3 months, there may be records/forms from the period of time leading up to the harvest (e.g., records for agricultural inputs, personal hygiene and washroom maintenance and checking, equipment cleaning, etc.) that the operation could use to demonstrate their adherence to food safety requirements.

If an operation is looking for specific guidance on their situation, they can contact the Certification Body and explain the situation. Their Certification Body would be able to determine the amount of records needed to perform the audit for that particular scope.

What kind of detail should be included on Form H2 under Weather Conditions?2017-11-03T16:25:50+00:00

The description of ‘weather conditions’ does not need to be very detailed. General descriptions such as “windy” or “raining” are acceptable. Details that could affect the efficacy of the chemical or contribute to spray drift should be included.

Can an operation use custom made forms and not the CanadaGAP form templates for their records and still receive full marks?2017-11-03T16:25:50+00:00

The forms provided in the CanadaGAP manuals are templates only. If an operation is using their own forms, they can get full marks as long as they have captured all of the required elements.

If an operation is using an electronic system to keep records (e.g., Ag Expert – Field Manager Pro Software), will they lose marks if they don’t print off the forms and sign the confirmation update log?2017-11-03T16:25:51+00:00

The forms do not have to be printed, BUT the confirmation update log (and other places that require a name/signature) must be filled in. The person responsible for the food safety program could insert an electronic signature or type their name into the appropriate box with the date. This fulfills the intent of the requirement. They could also print off a single page with a list of all the documents that were checked and put the signature/name and appropriate dates beside each record when they do the confirmation.

Is pencil acceptable for filling out record keeping forms?2017-11-03T16:25:51+00:00

Yes, pencil is acceptable. In some cases, when working outside and filling out record keeping forms in the cold weather, a pencil will work much better than ink.

When is an operation required to have a ‘letter of assurance’?2017-11-03T16:25:52+00:00

An operation is required to have a ‘letter of assurance’ in the following cases:

  • Purchasing/receiving compost/compost tea
  • Purchasing/receiving ice
  • Purchasing/receiving wax
  • When they use a third party cleaning company for packaging materials
  • For potatoes: To provide evidence that a variety has been tested for total glycoalkaloids (invoice from breeder is also acceptable)
  • For cranberries sent for processing: To provide proof that a final rinse is occurring at the processor