Information Sheet on
Update for 2013
Summary of Changes and Updates to the Costco Addendums for 2013
Autofails and Other Key Requirements
Summary of Changes and Updates to the Costco Addendums for 2013
Costco has release new versions of their Addendums for 2013.
Below is a list of changes in the new
versions of the Costco Produce Audit Addendums effective January 1, 2013. The
question numbers refer
to the new versions. Changes to sentence structure that do not change the meaning of the requirement
(e.g. word “documented” replaced with “written”) have not been included in the list of changes.
again GFTC has provided an ex
cel version for
all of our auditors
There are also five new requirements in the addendums. These are significant and have been
highlighted in yellow and
in the chart below.
Description of Change
questions have been removed in the new version
specifically 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10,
N/A now allowed for all questions except the auto
Removed the wording in explanation re: “supervised by trained person”
Added wording at the beginning of the question and explanation “if the grower ships
their product to more than one packer shipper”. A sentence removed from explanation:
Copies of the raw material supplier supporting documents are available for review and
filed in an easy to retrieve manner.
Additional guidance provided:
Letters of guarantee will be accepted for packaging.
In the event the grower is not responsible for supplier monitoring they
must retain records for auditor review
Part of the explanation changed:
If testing indicates a poor result, corrective actions are
required. This must include a re
test. Testing frequencies are to be based on risk and
at minimum within the last 12 months.
Description of Change
Explanation expanded. Entity is not to be penalized for lacking previous audits in first
year of certification. Group audits may be allowed if requested in writing in advance
The old Question 3 has been removed
Reminder added to explanation:
Hand sanitizer must not take the place of washing with
soap and water.
Question 6 is completely new and requires that hand wash stations (in the field) are
located outside the restroom so the supervisor can observe han
Clarification provided that gloves are supplied by the grower/harvest company; pickers
do not supply own gloves
Same requirement but split into 2 questions (Q 17 & 18 ins 2013 version). N/A is now
allowed for this
New requirement for pest control in harvest equipment storage areas
New requirement that harvest equipment storage areas are free from evidence of
pests (rodents, mammals, birds).
The old Q 18 regarding
storage of packaging has been removed from new version
(23 in old version) the notes on effective dates have changed
27 & 28
Same as old question #25 but the requirement is now split into 2 questions
Packinghouse, Cooler, Cold Storage and Processing
Description of Change
New requirement to provide hand sinks in the restrooms AND at the facility entrance
and that hands are washed after using the restroom and again upon
Reworded. Beard covers
AND moustache covers
are required. But this requirement only
applies to those facilities that handle exposed product.
Clarification provided that c
otton gloves may be worn
New wording/clarification added on letter of guarantee
14 & 15
This is the same requirement but split into two questions (Q 13 in old version)
Clarification that the on
site traceability exercise (during au
dit) be conducted on a Costco
This is the same requirement but split into two questions (q 21 in old version)
The notes on “Effective dates ...”
have been changed
Now applies only in the U.S.
Costco has a passing grade of 85% for all the addendums AND the CanadaGAP audit. In addition, all the
criteria must be met (i.e. no
are all iden
tified in the addendums in
Bold and are summarized below.
All suppliers who score below 98%
(even if they pass)
on their CanadaGAP audit
any of the
Addendums must submit a Corrective Action Plan
within 14 days of their audit being posted to
Costco has not provided a
form for this
. Some producers use the CGAP CAR form, some make up
their own. This is just a plan on how they will correct their non
send their CAR to us for posting (
) or post it themselves.
are on the front page of the Addendums.
Score Action Required
100% No corrective actions needed
97% Corrective action plan
< 85% Corrective action plan
and harvest crew audits must be conducted within 30 calendar days of the
original audit date. Re
audits for packinghouse, cooler, cold storage and processing audits must be
conducted within 60 calendar days of the original audit
date. If the growing season is finished, the audit
must take place within the first 30 calendar days of the next growing season. A product recall or other
serious incident will initiate a requirement for a new food safety audit.
of everything regardless of whether they have passed the other
For example, if they pass CGAP and Growing Area but fail Harvest Crew, they need a full re
audit of all three.
growing area audit
is performed a minimum of one time each year or during the
covers fields, pesticide usage
, water usage, harvest
"ranch" is defined as a parcel of ground
(not necessarily a "lot" for production purposes) with the following characteristics: common
management, common water supply and contiguous grounds. For the purpose of farm or ranch audits,
manual development or se
lf‐audits, a ranch or farm is defined as contiguous ground that is under
Field ‐ Harvest Crew
The harvest crew audit is performed at a minimum of once per year for Costco and may be done
periodically during the harvest season
harvest crew audit must be conducted during harvest of the
crop supplied to Costco.
The harvest crew audit is divided into sections that correspond to areas of
potential contamination risk in the harvesting operation. These areas include employee safety &
hygiene, harvest practices and food security. A "harvest crew" is defined as a crew of harvest personnel
under common management.
Facility ‐ Packinghouse with HACCP
The packinghouse audit is performed at a minimum of once per year. Questions are used to
facility’s food safety program. The audit is comprised of three main sections; a Good Manufacturing
Practices section, a Food Safety File Requirements section and a HACCP section. The audit encompasses
the areas of pest control, equipment, sanit
ation, employee hygiene practices, and all other operational
practices and documentation as they relate to food safety. Food security is also addressed. A
"packinghouse" is where whole commodities are prepared and packed for commercial distribution after
eing subjected to processes such as sorting, washing, weighing, etc.
and Other Key Requirements
(or incomplete hand washing). Note: Costco does not
hand wipes and hand sanitizers as a hand washing station. Hand washing stations must include
soap, water and paper towel.
Product contamination/adulteration is observed.
Failure to have a written pest control program.
Evidence of insects, rode
nts, birds, reptiles or mammals in any product, ingredient or primary
Water test results fail to meet set standards and no corrective action has been taken to include
. Note: Costco requires water tests for irrigation/chemica
l application water. Water
tests should be taken from irrigation equipment (e.g. drip lines, pivot nozzles) or where the
sprayer is filled from for accuracy
Evidence of systemic fecal contamination by wild animals and/or a single account of human or
estic animal fecal matter, in the growing area, close to the growing area or in any storage
Employees with obvious sores, infected wounds or other infectious illnesses are allowed to have
direct contact with exposed food products, production, equipment or storage areas.
Products not properly coded for traceability throughout the process
Processing facilities, Packinghouses, Coolers and Cold Storage facilities supplying product to the
U.S. and not meeting registration requirements of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism
Preparedness and R
esponse Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act) or companies located in the U.S.
supplying product to Costco locations in other countries.
Failure to take corrective actions, when critical limits are not me
t in a HACCP program.
A documented Food Safety Plan/Manual (for facility auditees) has not been established.
Food allergens are present and an allergen control program has not been developed.
Evidence of serious pest infestations (rodents, insects, b
irds, etc., including decomposed pests)
inside the facility, including in pest control devices.
Pest control programs must be developed and monitored by licensed, certified
pest control personnel. In the case of a country without this requirement, pest control
personnel must be trained and have written protocol to demonstrate their understanding of
est control as it applies to food safety.
Pest control program now required in harvest
equipment storage buildings too
Costco prohibits the use of Latex AND powder‐free Latex gloves.
Costco requires the use of Hairnets,
and Moustache covers where
for packing house employees handling open product
Trace Back / Mock Recall Exercise
Costco requires all packinghouses, coolers,
cold storage and processing facilities to do a trace back
AND Trace forwa
exercise at least
twice a year
(once for operations who are in production 6 months of the year or less)
Documentation must indicate the date and time the exercise was initiated, product chosen,
amount produced, affected lot codes, percent located, time
exercise was completed. 100% of
product should be located within two hours.
Raw Material Sources
entities/suppliers must have a
program in place to approve and monitor their suppliers (all raw materials, ingredients and
primary packaging). Their suppliers must provide them with a current (within 1 calendar year)
third‐party food safety audit and a product specification sheet which includes product
attributes, labeling and code dates. Additionally, facilities supplying ra
w materials and
ingredients must be operating under a HACCP program Primary packing facilities must have an
ongoing, documented monitoring program to evaluate primary packaging compliance to
specifications, including a method to identify specific lot numbe
Food Contact Surfaces
With the exception of commodities where using wooden bins is the
industry standard, produce must not come in contact with surfaces which are not accessible
and/or cannot be cleaned, including but not limited to the following: foam
rubber, any type of
carpet, non food grade plastic, etc.
In all operations, hand washing must take place with soap and water. There is no
approved substitute for hand washing, including hand wipes, sanitizer, etc.
Costco does not allow fa
lse nails or nail polish.
No drinking water (or any other beverage), in any container, is to be allowed on the
packing line or processing floor.
Although countries outside the US may have different requirements, Costco does not
allow any beverages on the
packing line or processing floor. Employers must provide
employees adequate fresh water supplies located in areas which do not create food
safety hygiene issues.
Picking bags, gloves, knives and aprons must be covered under equipment storage and
procedures and be on a documented cleaning schedule. The grower is
responsible to maintain cleanliness and good repair.
Toilet and hand washing facilities must be within a 5 minute walking distance for all
Even harvest employees
ct sell unit (for example, clam shell, bag, package, and carton) must be
marked with a use‐by, sell‐by or packed‐on code that can be used for traceability/recall
purposes. Julian dates are not acceptable. Suppliers should refer to item specifications,
ided by Costco buyers.
Harvesting equipment must be on a documented cleaning and sanitizing program. A
monitoring program to verify that successful cleaning and sanitizing of all product
contact surfaces must be in place.