07 February 2019

Important information for your Freshcare pre-audit checklist

Important information for your Freshcare pre-audit checklist

7 February 2019

From 1 January 2019, citrus growers need to be accredited to a HARPS recognised food safety scheme if they wish to supply Australia’s major grocery chains. The approved schemes growers can choose from are Freshcare, GlobalGAP or SQF. To gain accreditation growers need to undergo a food safety and quality audit during their harvest period.

Accredited Freshcare trainers Nicole Zerveas and Mara Milner, of Citrus Australia, have conducted training and helped growers and packers prepare for audit in the past year. To help growers prepare for their external audit they have created a checklist of tips to assist with compliance to the Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Code of Practice. The checklist is only a reference and does not cover every requirement of the code.


  • Make sure all applicable forms are filled in correctly, dated and signed from your training date onwards.
  • You are welcome to use your own forms to record your activities but ensure you are capturing all the Freshcare requirements on the forms.


  • Your property map must identify all applicable details listed in section M1.2


  • Form – M4 Internal audit report must be completed prior to your audit.
  • If you do not meet a compliance criteria before your audit it is recommended you fill in a Form –M4 Corrective action record (CAR).


  • Maintain a chemical inventory of all application purchases from your training date onwards. The inventory must include date received, place of purchase, name of chemical, batch number (where available), expiry date or date of manufacture (DOM) and quantity. The inventory also requires you to keep a record of when and how you dispose of out of date chemicals and empty chemical containers.
  • Ensure at least at least one staff member who stores, handles, applies and disposes of chemical has been trained to a certified chemical user training course. Maintain a record of this training on Form – M3 Training record other. Acceptable evidence can be your training certificate or ACUP card.
  • All preharvest applications must be recorded (spray diary) and capture the date, start/ finish times, location and crop, product name and batch number (where applicable), withholding period or earliest harvest date, rate, equipment/ method used, wind speed and direction and the name/ signature of the person applying the application. You may use Form – F4 Preharvest chemical application record or continue using your own records so long as they capture all the required info.
  • Complete a yearly check of what chemicals are in your shed, record this on Form – F4 Chemical inventory form or you may record the check on Form – M4 Internal Audit section F4.2.4, F4.2.5
  • Form – F4 Chemical authorisation record needs to be filled in and a copy must be displayed in your chemical storage area.
  • Have a multiscreen MRL report for a sample of your fruit that has had all pre-harvest and post-harvest chemical treatments applied (after any shed fungicide and wax applications) and is ready for sale.
  • Keep records of all calibration and maintenance of your spray equipment and scales.
  • You are required to have a spill kit in your chemical storage area. The minimum requirement for a spill kit are shovel/trowel, dry sand in a bucket, empty bucket.
  • Keep your chemical storage areas locked when not in use.


  • There are four risk assessments that require completion before your audit, ensure all questions are answered and all areas on the risk assessments are complete.


  • Ensure you record your pre-harvest water source on Form – F6 Water source record and have evidence to support the use. Evidence can be a copy of a water invoice or licence/ agreement.

PREMISES – Toilets and handwashing area

  • Premises must supply toilet and hand washing facilities in close proximity for their workers. The facilities must be cleaned and re-stocked appropriately during harvest.
  • The hand washing facility must be equipped with liquid soap, paper towel or hand dryer and a bin and a pictorial sign depicting hand washing/drying instructions.
  • If the water quality for handwashing is not proven to meet E. coli <1 cfu/100ml, a hand sanitiser must also be supplied.

F10 Food safety instruction

  • Communicate F10 Food safety instructions to all workers and visitors and place a copy in highly visible places.
  • Workers must sign that they have read and understood the training. This can be recorded on Form – M3 Training record other.


  • Growers must list all their suppliers that impact the products safety and or quality on Form – 11 Supplier table. The supplier table also asks for the evidence/ mode of approval which can be the supplying business’s certificate of compliance to a food safety scheme, signing an agreement letter or an ABN.


  • Where Freshcare specify that signage is required in particular areas of your business, these can be found on the Freshcare website under the resources tab.


  • You are required to keep detailed harvest records which must include, crop/variety, growing site, the earliest harvest date (in regards to chemical, fertiliser and water application), harvest date, quantity and destination.
  • The earliest harvest date may be captured in your spray diary or fertiliser records (where applicable).
  • You may use your delivery dockets if they contain all the required information.

Upcoming Freshcare FSQ4 training/follow up sessions by Citrus Australia are scheduled for:

  • 28 February in Mildura
  • 17-18 April in Waikerie
  • 22-23 April in Riverina

Enquiries can be made to:
Nicole Zerveas
E: nicole.zerveas@citrusaustralia.com.au
M: 0499 044 111

Mara Milner
E: mara.milner@citrusaustralia.com.au
M: 0499 994 592

Freshcare website: www.freshcare.com.au
HARPS website: www.harpsonline.com.au

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