Documentation & Traceability

Without Documentation, Who Is Going to Believe You? – Record Keeping Says “It’s Done”

Maintaining readily accessible records of all almond farm operations, and especially GAPs, is essential and beneficial when it comes to food safety. Specific documentation and record keeping down to the individual orchard level will maximize the investment in risk reduction.

Download PDF Documentation & Traceability section.

Employee Training

Workers Need to Know Their Role in Food Safety

Providing effective training sessions is crucial to the success of a food safety risk-reduction program. All orchard employees should be trained in field sanitation, employee hygiene, equipment cleaning and other procedures that contribute to high-quality, safe almonds.

Download PDF Employee Training section.

Fertilizer & Soil Practices

Know What’s in Your Soil Amendments 

The Almond Board of California does not support the use of manure as fertilizer, but if used, the manure must be applied in a manner that does not introduce a food safety risk.

Download PDF Fertilizer and Soil Amendment Practices section.

Water Quality & Source

Testing Is the Key

Water used in the production of almonds can be a source of microbiological contaminants. Water for irrigation may introduce and widely disseminate pathogens to the orchard floor, and water used in any foliar applications to trees can contaminate the crop.

Download PDF Water Quality and Source section.

Orchard Floor Management

Clean and Bare

Almond harvest activities result in direct contact of nuts with the orchard floor. Whenever almonds come in direct contact with soil or with soil surface materials, the introduction of physical contaminants and some level of microbial contamination is going to happen.

Download PDF Orchard Floor Management section.

Field Sanitation & Employee Hygiene

Cleanliness Is Safety

Worker hygiene plays a critical role in minimizing potential contamination. Workers need to be made aware of their role in practicing personal hygiene to prevent contamination of the orchard floor and, therefore, the crop.

Download PDF Field Sanitation and Worker Hygiene section.

Pests and Wildlife

Control Sources of Contamination

Wild and domestic animals, birds, reptiles and insects can carry and deposit any number of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli on trees, the orchard floor, equipment, storage areas or any other location they may access.

Download PDF Pest Control section.

Harvest & Delivery Sanitation

Moisture Is Out

Elevated moisture levels can lead to the proliferation of microorganisms, including molds that produce aflatoxin in almonds. At harvest time, moisture on the orchard floor and in windrowed almonds encourages growth of contaminants and could lead to concealed-damage formation.

Download PDF Harvest and Delivery Sanitation section.

Stockpile Management

Preventing Mold Growth

Aflatoxins are a major concern for the almond industry because of stringent maximum limits for aflatoxin contamination in key export markets.

When almonds are stockpiled, the combination of moisture in the crop and condensation that occurs under tarps used to cover the stockpiles can create ideal conditions for the Aspergillus mold to grow, which may result in aflatoxin contamination.

Download PDF Stockpile Managment section.

Download PDF Stockpile Management Best Practices Guide.