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Costco Releases Updated Food Safety Audit Expectations

by Jacob Guth |
Costco Wholesale has released their updated Produce Food Safety Audit Expectations, and there are changes that will affect the CCOF-certified members who supply their stores. 
Below is a summary of the changes relevant to producers using the GLOBALG.A.P. standards, however, if you intend to sell to Costco, we encourage you to thoroughly read their letter, audit expectations, and field and facility addenda. 
  • Choice of certification body (CB): Growers without on-farm packing can use any CB of their choice if it is allowed by their packing facility. For on-farm and field-packed commodities, the Costco-approved CB list applies (see the list of Costco Produce Food Safety Audit Expectations, page 6). However, if your on-farm packing house is certified by an approved CB using the Costco requirements for facilities, you may use CCOF for the GLOBALG.A.P. audits in the fields.  
  • Choice of standard: The GLOBALG.A.P. IFA, PSS, and HPSS standards may be accepted audits for fresh produce (but not for post-harvest handling) if they are allowed by the packing facility. 
  • Costco oversight: Costco will review and oversee the following operations:
    • Facility audits (packinghouses, processors, coolers, etc.)
    • In-field (and on-farm) packing operations. Costco Addendum for Field-Packed Commodities is required for GLOBALG.A.P. audits for producers with on-farm packing. 
  • Facility oversight: Facilities are responsible for overseeing grower audits (without on-farm packing) as part of their supplier management program. These audit reports and certificates still need to be uploaded to the Azzule website, but a Costco addendum is required. 
  • Costco Produce Addendum for Field-Packed Commodities now combines the Growing Area and Harvest Crew Addendum and must be completed by an approved CB.  
  • Harvest Crew Addendum must occur during the harvest. 
CCOF is committed to providing food safety services by and for the organic community, and we do this by hiring only the best food safety auditors and ensuring they can also do organic inspections. Ongoing education efforts for the organic community, combined with excellence in service and cost effectiveness, make CCOF an excellent choice for your certification needs. 
If you have more questions, please contact CCOF’s Food Safety Program Manager Jacob Guth at, or visit our food safety services webpage