Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) have become an area of great importance due to the rise in foodborne illnesses. In the world’s food supply, the most commonly known of these are salmonella and E. coli, but there are many others. Everyone has a shared interest in making sure these bacteria are not spread, and that’s where GAP comes in.

GAP is a voluntary program created for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. It was crafted to minimize the risk of contamination of fresh fruits, vegetables and nut crops by microbial pathogens that can make people sick. Good agricultural practices vary from county to county and from crop to crop, but the goal is the same everywhere: Keeping the food supply safe.

The Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI) has been working diligently to support the GAP initiative by coming up with standards specific to our industry. Since regulations vary greatly across the United States and internationally, the PSAI’s intent has been to provide guidance on best practices for all operators to adopt, regardless of where they are located. The precautions we recommend will assist in the prevention of contamination of food crops by field workers due to unsanitary field restrooms. They will also help keep workers healthy by making sure they have adequate hand wash facilities available.

Both operators and manufacturers have been very supportive of the Association, donating their time and ideas to the creation of these Best Practices criteria—all of which meet or exceed what the GAP initiative requires. Standards for the portable sanitation industry in support of GAP are as follows:

1. Compliance with ANZI Z4.1, Z4.3 and Z4.4 standards must be maintained at all times.

2. Portable restrooms must be rigidly constructed and their inside surfaces must be made of nonabsorbent material that is smooth, and easily cleanable.

3. The wastewater tank must be constructed of durable, easily cleanable material and have an adequate tank capacity.

4. Construction of units must prevent splashing on the occupant, field or road.

5. Portable restrooms must be ventilated and have self-closing doors, lockable from the inside, and must be constructed to ensure privacy.

6. Portable restrooms must be screened to keep flies and other vermin away from the excreta.

7. Effective odor control deodorizer must be used in waste holding tanks.

8. Toilet paper must be provided at all times in a suitable holder inside each portable restroom.

9. Portable restrooms used for agricultural purposes must be maintained in good repair at all times.

10. Contents of portable restrooms must be disposed of by pumping into a sanitary sewer or by a liquid waste hauler transporting the liquid waste for proper disposal. The disposal of waste from the restrooms and/or hand washing facilities must not cause unsanitary conditions, nuisance, or contamination.

11. Any spillage or leakage must be cleaned up immediately, complying with the owner’s spill containment and clean-up procedures.

12. A hand wash facility must be adjacent to every (group of) portable restroom(s).

13. Hand wash facilities are self contained or drain into a waste tank, confirming that there is no risk of cross contamination.

14. Hand wash facilities must be maintained in a clean, sanitary condition and kept in good repair at all times. They must also be properly stocked with soap and single use paper towels.

15. A trash receptacle must be available for disposing of used paper towels (provided by renter).

16. The portable restroom operator shall have and supply each customer with a spill containment and clean up plan.

17. Bi-lingual signs will be posted in or near the unit(s) stating, “Workers must wash hands before returning to work.”

18. All portable restroom services shall comply with PSAI Portable Sanitation Technician Certification Standards for health and safety.

19. All services need to be recorded on service sticker inside each portable restroom.

The PSAI is dedicated to providing programs that promote high standards of sanitation worldwide. Through our eductional conferences, annual trade show and committee work, we provide opportunities for members to share information affecting their areas of the world. We invite all portable restroom operators and industry suppliers to join us in raising standards and keeping our food supply safe.
Not a member of the PSAI, but interested in working on GAP Standards? Please contact the PSAI Office at 1-800-822-3020 for more information on membership and how you can become involved in this, and other, important industry issues.

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