Maintain equipment to avoid produce contamination
An equipment service record can help identify what to look for to avoid produce contamination and maintain Good Agricultural Practice Certification
To remain profitable, agricultural equipment needs to be maintained in good working order. Proper maintenance also helps reduce the chance of contamination through oil and fluid leaks. By creating an organized schedule of maintenance, you can help maintain equipment as well as prove to an auditor you are preventing contamination from equipment.
Think of every piece of mechanized equipment you have that could come in contact with the field or the produce. Are there parts of the equipment that contain fluid? Are there breakable glass parts to them that could contaminate produce? If so, these items need to be inspected regularly to ensure they are not leaking fluids and that their breakable parts are intact.
Keeping a record of the condition of equipment at the time of individual maintenance is important to be formalized. You may wish to create an equipment service record based on individual maintenance schedules in your operator’s manual. Michigan State University’s Agrifood Safety Work Group has sample service records for agricultural equipment use. You’ll need a service record completed for each piece of equipment every time it is inspected.
If you have specific questions about equipment maintenance or are having difficulty tailoring GAPs to your farm, you are welcome to contact the Agrifood Safety Work Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-788-4292. To obtain the service record, ask for AFSM016-02.