The GLOBALG.A.P. Secretariat is following the COVID-19 situation very closely and has taken immediate action to manage potential health and business risks within our international operations.
We have formed a crisis management team to provide global guidance to certification bodies and producers where inspection/audit schedules are disrupted because of travel restrictions.
As the situation progresses, our management will be adjusting our COVID-19 emergency procedures for certification bodies, and we are working with the Global Food Safety Initiative and accreditation bodies to evaluate alternative auditing rules. During this pandemic, the production of safe food remains important, and we will do our very best to play an important and relevant role in ensuring it continues through these difficult times.
In addition to the measures the GLOBALG.A.P. Secretariat has taken in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to highlight that personal hygiene and the training of workers to understand the importance of hygiene, specifically the value of hand washing, has always been part of the GLOBALG.A.P. standard for Integrated Farm Assurance.
Research has shown that there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A, which often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure is not known to be a route of transmission.
The virus is thought to spread mainly through direct contact from person to person, and it is therefore imperative that hand wash training and the implementation of other hygiene measures (such as coughing and sneezing into the crook of the elbow, not working directly with the products when showing signs of flu) continue.
It is advised that producers and packers follow protocols set by the national or local health departments regarding working environments.
Resources, including videos on hand washing and answers to frequently asked questions, can be found through the following links:
- How soap kills the coronavirus
- General COVID-19 information from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S.A.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s FAQ on food safety questions regarding COVID-19
Information regarding food and COVID-19:
- Cronavirus no evidence food source of transmission route (EFSA Europe)
- Can the new type of coronavirus be transmitted via food and object? (BfR, Germany)
- GLOBALG.A.P. COVID-19 emergency procedures for certification bodies and producers
- A “G.A.P. Talk” on COVID-19 with Andras Fekete, GLOBALG.A.P. Chief Integrity Officer
We have also taken preventive measures to protect GLOBALG.A.P. employees and visitors.
The following preventive measures we have put in place:
- heightened hygiene controls and increased working from home
- travel restrictions to slow the spread of the virus
- prioritizing virtual communication methods to minimize direct contact
We firmly believe that social distancing will flatten the curve of coronavirus infections and encourage this. If you have registered for any of the Farm Assurer or Capacity Building workshops over the next few months, please refer to our website our website for the most up to date information.
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How to Keep your
Certification During the COVID-19 Crisis
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